YORKTOWN, N.Y. -John F. McMullen has been named poet laureate of the town of Yorktown.
A Yorktown resident for nearly four decades, McMullen has published five poetry books, two other books, and has written more than 2,000 columns and articles for magazines and newspapers.
The Town Board unanimously appointed McMullen to the unpaid position at a work session last week.
McMullen said he has been hounding Supervisor Michael Grace about being named poet laureate for years.
“I think it’s absolutely a cool idea,” Grace said at the work session.
McMullen said he didn’t begin writing poetry until late in life. One day while browsing Barnes & Noble, he came across a book of poems written by Charles Bukowski. Flipping through the pages, McMullen thought, “I can do this.”
“I wrote a poem, and someone recommended I send it to some contest and I did, and I forgot about it,” McMullen said. “Months later, I found out I finished fourth in this contest.”
McMullen only won $25 for his efforts, but he had a newfound love of poetry.
“Poetry is an interesting thing in that all of the other writing I have done, the non-fiction, has been to tell people what I know and what I think,” McMullen said. “Some fiction I’ve done is to tell stories. But poetry is for myself. It really helps me examine what I’ve done, where I’ve been and what I feel about things.”
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