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Michelle Courtney Berry

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Quick Stats

Michelle Courtney Berry, the second Poet Laureate of Tompkins County, has appeared on “Good Morning America” and was elected delegate for Mr. Barack Obama in her Congressional District by over 16,000 votes. A former City Councilwoman and Alternate Acting Mayor for the City of Ithaca, she teaches at Ithaca College and Cornell University. She has opened in poetry and song for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou & Howard Zinn. Michelle holds a dual BA in English, Literature and Rhetoric and Political Science from Binghamton University’s Harpur College, where she minored in Public Affairs Communication, was Scripps-Howard Fellow and the Commencement Speaker. She received her Master’s Degree in Communication from Cornell, where she was also a fellow and researcher. Michelle has held summer scholarships at both Vassar College and Georgetown University (The Institute on Political Journalism). A Cave Canem Fellow from 1997-99, she went on to attend The Hurston-Wright Writers Conference in Moraga, California (short story and fiction); The Breadloaf Writers’ Conference (poetry); and most recently, she was the recipient of the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation grant from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (2009). Michelle has also received funding for a series of coffeehouse poems from Poets & Writers and a grant for fiction from the Community Arts Partnership (CAP). Her poetry has appeared in the anthologies: Gathering Ground: a reader celebrating Cave Canem’s first decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006), Gifts from Our Grandmothers (Crown/Random House, 2002), Cave Canem Poetry Anthology IV (Black Classic Press, 1999); and in notable journals and magazines such as:  nocturnes:  re(view) of the literary arts, Oxford American , Paterson Literary Review and Obsidian. She is proud to be the first poet published by Horticulture. Michelle resides in the Fingerlakes Region of New York with her family.

Published Works