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Fabu Phillis Carter, professionally known as Fabu, was appointed Madison’s Poet Laureate in 2008 and served in that position until 2011. She was chosen for this honorary position by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and voted in to office by The Madison Arts Commission in recognition of her years as a major figure in Madison’s literary arts movement. Fabu was also selected because of the inspiration she has provided for more than 20 years in poetry, reading and writing to school children, women and the African American communities. She is multicultural in perspective and encourages adults and children to write in many languages.

In Fabu’s presentations to school children, she encourages their creativity, supports their efforts to write and has specifically designed innovative curriculum to strengthen their learning abilities. Through her work with children over the years, she realized there were many age-related themes that might be used to help inspire all children to begin writing about their own thoughts and dreams.

Because of those experiences, Fabu recently published her new children’s book, Poems, Dreams and Roses -- a compilation of poems. Fabu began writing at the age of 11 and has continued to create poetry throughout her adult life. The poems for the book were chosen ....

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“I write and work to inspire, encourage and remind.” I want my words and actions to inspire people to be better and do better. I want to stir up the courage inside of all humans to stand for the right and not the wrong. I want to remind everyone of the past, only to give them a sure foundation for a wonderful future. I am grateful for the beauty and strength of words that flow from Fabu. It has not been easy to evolve into a productive African American poet, yet it continues to be a marvelous journey. I began writing poetry at 11 years old while my mother was marching with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and my father was fighting in Viet Nam. Poetry helped me make sense of the chaotic world that I found myself growing up in while living in Memphis, TN. I have devoted myself to writing as a vocation, with poetry as my specialty, however, I acknowledge that I have two passions-children and writing.


1. 2014
: I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin, edited by Oscar Mirales, three poems
2. 2014: Hybrid, edited by Thomas Ferrella and Sara Parrell, one poem with photograph
3. 2013: Echolocations, edited by Sarah Busse, Shoshauna Shy and Wendy Vardaman, two poems

• Selected panelist for Association of Writers & Writing Programs, (AWP) Conference, 2015

• Silver winner in spoken word and poetry, Madison Magazine, 2014

• Madison, Wisconsin Poet for Alzheimer’s Poetry Project (worldwide), 2011-Present

• Pushcart nominee in poetry, 2013 and 2014

• One Woman Show on Mary Lou William, Overture Center, 2013

• Women of Distinction Award in Arts & Education, YWCA Madison, 2012

• Member, Overture Community Advisory Committee, 2012-Present

• Outstanding Achievement in Poetry, Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award for Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku, 2012

• Fine Arts Legacy Award, UMOJA Magazine, 2010

• Vice Chairperson, The Madison Culture Plan, 2010-2013