Delaware’s 16th poet laureate is headed to the Philippines to teach creative writing and conduct research.
JoAnn Balingit, who was the First State’s top and official poet from 2008 to 2015, has been named a 2023-2024 Fulbright U.S. Scholar.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s international educational exchange program, supported by American agencies and partner countries around the world.
It’s funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Balingit, an advocate for art education, has directed state-wide programs such the Delaware Writing Region of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for middle school and high school students.
She’s led poetry workshops and writing retreats for adults, and has taught poetry writing at the University of Delaware, as well as teaching creative writing classes at New Castle County Libraries for the Creative Aging program, which focuses on storytelling through memory work.
She has been a coordinator and teaching artist for Delaware’s Poetry Out Loud program for the past 15 years.
Her project “WHAT WERE the NAMES of the TREES? A Memoir” is a lyrical work about growing up bi-racial in the American South, and coming of age in the aftermath of the violent loss of her parents.
Separated from her eight younger siblings, the lonely teen in the novel enters adulthood desperate to belong. She seeks an understanding of her Filipino family history and the forces that shaped her father’s education and environment as a U.S. colonial subject before he migrated to the United States.
The memoir explores her attitude toward her mixed identity.
More than 800 U.S. citizens will teach or conduct research abroad for the 2023-2024 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
The program also includes more than 2,000 American students in over 100 fields of study to learn, teach English and conduct research overseas.
To learn more about the program, click here.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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