Three Rivers Associate Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II Named Hartford’s First Poet Laureate

Norwich, CT – Three Rivers Community College is excited to share that Associate Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II has been named Hartford’s First Poet Laureate. In this role, he will promote awareness and appreciation of poetry, spoken word, and writing in Hartford; and endeavor to instill pride in the community.

Three Rivers President Mary Ellen Jukoski congratulates Knowles on the appointment saying, “This is a wonderful honor for Professor Knowles. We take pride in his positive achievement and wish him continued success on this auspicious occasion.” 

On his accomplishment, Knowles says, “I am truly grateful for this opportunity. My grandmother, Marjorie Sloan Bell Knowles, was a Hartford native and this gives me a chance to extend my family roots. My goal is to bridge the gap between literary and performance poetry with a literacy campaign that will stretch into schools and the Hartford Public Library system. I want to stress what a role poetry has played in my life and how it led me down this path of authorship, leadership, professorship, and civic activism. It is so important to follow our passions, and it has led to this monumental moment in my life.”

Knowles is an Associate Professor of English who has taught at Three Rivers for 11 years in the English and Communications Department. He also teaches classes at a local prison as part of the Three Rivers Community College Second Chance Pell Grant program. In addition to serving as the Three Rivers representative on CSCU’s Students First Consolidation Committee, he co-founded the Men Against Domestic Violence Artistic Expression annual event which consists of music, poetry readings and performances, and a live artist painting.  Knowles also chairs the TRCC Community Involvement Committee.

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Three Rivers Community College is an accessible, affordable, and culturally diverse two-year college located in Norwich, Connecticut, with an off-campus instructional center at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. Knowing that the educational goals of its students are as diverse as their backgrounds, Three Rivers provides a broad range of credit and non-credit liberal arts, sciences, nursing, engineering, manufacturing, career and technical courses.  The student population consists of more than 4,300 enrolled students each semester. To learn more about what Three Rivers has to offer, visit