Bettina “Poet Gold” Wilkerson: NYS Dutchess County 2017 Poet Laureate, recipient of the 2016 Dutchess County Executive’s “Artivist” Award, 2016 Dutchess County Athena Award Honoree by The Chamber Foundation, Inc., the 2016 recipient of the Exempt Firemen’s Association Black Heritage Committee’s “Outstanding Community Service Award” for Extraordinary Contribution and Dedication, and the 2014 NYSCA Individual Artist Tier Grant Awardee for Dutchess County. Gold, as she is affectionately known, is a rare talent, original, grabs you by the heart and says “Recognize.

Living with a chronic illness since childhood, Poet Gold, or as she is affectionately known as “Gold”, brings through her poetic performance a soul-searching insight about the human existence, love, dreams, challenges, and triumph.

Poet Gold believes that the arts exist not only to entertain, but also to educate, and elevate the human spirit. To fill her passion of mentoring and fostering young talented minds, Gold has collaborated with educational institutions, arts and youth development organizations such as R.E.A.L. Skills Network, Inc., Mill St. Loft, Breaking Barriers, Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, Arts Mid-Hudson, The Lincoln Middle School (Passaic, NJ) and The Berta A. Dreyfus Intermediate School 49 (Staten Island); and through her mentoring and poetic performances, she has touched over a thousand middle and high school aged students engaging them in understanding the direct connection between literacy, goal setting, and the achievement of their dreams.

Poet Gold was the “Artist-in-Residence” for the “Leadership Overnight Camp” hosted by Rural & Migrant Ministry, has served as host for the 2016 RMM Rural Women’s Assembly, hosted the 2015 NYS Women’s Rural Conference and spoken at renowned organizations such as YAI National Institute for People with Disabilities (The Women Stepping Up Employee Resource Group), Omega Institute 2014 “Women Serving Women Summit”, and has inspired women with her words for the Women’s Leadership Alliance International Women’s Day.

Poet Gold’s spoken word performances are countless, and her poetic work has been featured at Arts Westchester-SHE Exhibit (part of “HER”), Barnes & Noble (Poetry Month 2016), Howland Cultural Center (You are My Blue, I am Your Red), and Queens New Music Festival/Tenri Cultural Center.

Presently, Poet Gold is the Host for “POELODIES” at the prominent venue-The Falcon, Marlboro, NY, and “Newburgh’s Open Mic”- at The Wherehouse in Newburgh, NY. Her book, “When My Soul Speaks, I Scribe…poetry” is available on