Rhonda M. Ward is a native of Dayton, Ohio where she grew up across the street from the home of the poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar and began reciting his poems at the age of eight. She has organized poetry readings in the southeastern Connecticut region for nearly 20 years. She currently co-hosts the annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading at the Mystic Museum of Art which will celebrate 14 years in 2022.
Rhonda’s poems have appeared in print and online, most recently in the environmental anthology Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis (edited by Connecticut Poet Laureate, Margaret Gibson), Connecticut Woodlands, Cape Cod Quarterly, and online at the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day Project.
Ward has served on the board of directors for The Writers Block Ink and Soul Mountain Retreat. She has collaborated with visual artists on numerous projects including 3 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back, which addresses systemic racism and was exhibited in April in Vero Beach, FL, during the month of April 2021.
Ward was appointed Poet Laureate for the City of New London in 2017 and passed the torch to the city’s second Poet Laureate in April 2021.