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Twin brothers named Delaware's Poets Laureate

via Twitter @TwinPoets

Gov. Jack Markell named new Poets Laureate for the State of Delaware Wednesday night.

Twin brothers Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills, known as the Twin Poets, will share the title.

Chukwuocha, a Wilmington City Councilman and chair of Council’s Education, Youth and Families committee,  thanked Markell for giving he and his brother this platform.

“He’s recognized our art and our ability to use our art to help transform and inspire others," said Chukwuocha.  "And with his love of poetry, it makes this recognition and [chance] to serve our state – this appointment – unrivaled in our eyes.  We thank him for the faith in our work and our art."

Mills is a social worker. As a therapist, he serves New Castle County’s Multisystemic Therapy Services. Mills says he and his brother excited to take on the role.

“Thank you for entrusting us with this pen for the state.  We promise to write some beautiful poems and have our children writing some beautiful poems as well," said Mills.

The twins have become two of the most respected poets on the reemerging poetry and spoken word scene.  They have been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry, BET’s Lyric Café, and NPR’s Poetic License.

The Twin Poets have authored several poetry books and have been included in many anthologies. Their latest work is a children’s book, Homework For Breakfast, which is slated for release next year.

Their honors include the Village Award from the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, Bank of America’s Local Heroes Award and Mentors of the Year from the City of Wilmington. 

Chukwuocha and Mills are 17th Poets Laureate since Delaware created the post in 1947 – and replace JoAnn Balingit, who recently retired after serving over seven years.

State officials say they checked with the Library of Congress and it says the brothers are the first twins to serve as a state's Poets Laureate.

This piece is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for nearly three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.