'Poetry brings people together,' says Halifax's new poet laureate

Afua Cooper, an associate professor at Dalhousie University's department of sociology and social anthropology, was named to the two-year post this week.

Afua Cooper teaches at Dalhousie University and has published books of poetry and history

Afua Cooper was officially introduced as poet laureate on Tuesday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The Halifax Regional Municipality's new poet laureate promises to use verse to unite the capital of Nova Scotia.

Afua Cooper, an associate professor at Dalhousie University's department of sociology and social anthropology, was named to the two-year post this week.

"Poetry brings people together. It is my honour to serve as the municipality's poetry ambassador," Cooper said in a news release.

Cooper has published five books of poetry, along with the landmark history book, The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Slavery in Canada and the Burning of Old Montreal. She's the James Robinson Chair in Black Canadian Studies. 

Cooper takes over today from Rebecca Thomas.

Cooper was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada in 1980. She published her first book of poetry, Breaking Chains, in 1983. In 2003, she helped form the Dub Poets Collective in Toronto. She moved to Halifax seven years ago.