Erie County Poet Laureate / Erie Arts & Culture

Chuck Joy, 2018-2019 Erie County Poet Laureate

Chuck JoyChuck Joy is a poet, resident of Erie County. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines: Chiron Review, Rattapallax, Foundlings, Great Lakes Review. Several anthologies: Lake Effect, Dwelling in Possibility, Picture This. Chuck appears with Kurt Sahlmann on the CD Live at The Jive (

Collections of Chuck’s poems include Every Tiger Wants To Sing (Poets’ Hall Press), Said the Growling Dog (Nirala Publications), Percussive (Turning Point), and the new chapbook The Opposite of Gifts (Heyman! Productions).

Chuck Joy is a member of the Italian-American Writers Association and the Mercyhurst Community Writing Workshop. A child psychiatrist, Dr. Chuck is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is poetry editor of their newsletter.

A poet producer, Chuck partnered with Kathleen Cantrell for Poetry Scene, a weekly poetry event at the Erie Book Store. Currently he’s producing Poetry Night, a weekly poetry event at Calamari’s 1317 State, where he also hosts. Stage shows have included Exploring The Border, All Aboard, Silver Creek, Helping Ricky, We Make It Easy.

Dr. Joy attended Cathedral Preparatory School (1969), received his BA from Fordham University (1973), and his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1978). He pursued psychiatry training at Warren State Hospital and West Virginia University at Morgantown where he was Chief Resident and completed a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship.

Chuck Joy was a founding member and initial chairman of the Erie County Pennsylvania Poetry Initiative. He is Erie County’s sixth Poet Laureate. Chuck lives with his wife Dawn, their children Nicole, Veronica, and Gregory all grown. More at

About the Erie County Poet Laureate Initiative

The Erie County Poet Laureate Initiative won the County Commissioners Association Art Programming Award in 2010 and the National Association of Counties 2011 National Arts and Culture Award. Five Poets Laureate have represented our community since 2009; Berwyn Moore, Thomas Forsthoefel, Ron Hayes, Cee Williams and Marisa Moks-Unger. Dr. Chuck Joy is the sixth.

Erie County Government has provided a $7,500 grant. $3,000 goes to the poet as stipend, $4,000 is used to carry out a project to bring poetry to the people of Erie County, and $500 covers administrative expenses. The ratio of the award reflects the goal of Erie County Government and the Poetry Committee for service to the public to be the driving force of the Poet Laureate Initiative.

THE ERIE COUNTY POETRY COMMITTEE includes Dr. Greg Brown, director of the Writing Center Mercyhurst University, Helene Grande Erie School District(Retired), Mary Jane Koenig Erie School District (Retired), George Looney, Professor of English Penn State Univ. at Behrend, Berwyn Moore Professor of English Gannon University, Carrie Hohmann Instructor of English & Philosophy Edinboro Univ., a representative from Erie Arts & Culture, Ben Speggen, Program Director, Jefferson Educational Society, Joseph Giles County Council (Retired); Douglas Smith Erie County Clerk

The mission of Erie Arts & Culture is to strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our people through the advancement of arts and culture.
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