Jean Prokott named third city of Rochester poet laureate

Jean Prokott is a Century High School English teacher. The appointed poet works with organizations to encourage the public to enjoy and express poetic and literary creativity.

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Jean Prokott has been named the city of Rochester's poet laureate through April 1, 2027. She is also a Century High School English teacher.
Contributed / City of Rochester

ROCHESTER — Jean Prokott, a Century High School English teacher, will continue her writing tradition and encouraging others to appreciate language arts through her honorary position as the city of Rochester's next poet laureate.

"She brings a tremendous amount of talent and passion into the role," Mayor Kim Norton said in a news release announcing the appointment. "We are fortunate to have writers and poets like Jean in our community.”

Prokott is the third poet laureate. She will serve a four-year term through April 1, 2027.

Prokott often writes about the Rochester community, including poems about geese, the corn tower and works of art at Mayo Clinic. She is also the author of "The Second Longest Day of the Year" and "The Birthday Effect."

"I meet a friend for coffee. her hair is waves of tilled soil. she is my dear friend, the sun has risen above the unshaven hills, we are drinking coffee, we never left, we are glad for it," Prokott wrote in her poem “Prose Aubade Ending with Lipstick.” The poem was included in "Bright Light: Stories in the Night," a collection of Southeast Minnesota poets and artists.


Rochester’s poet laureate was established in April 2012 to promote appreciation for poetry and the language arts. The appointed poet works with cultural, educational and other organizations to encourage the public to enjoy and express poetic and literary creativity. The goals are accomplished via public appearances, readings, grants, workshops, and other public displays of poetry.

Jane Belau, appointed in 2012, and Susan McMillan, appointed in 2019, served as the first two poet laureates.

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