Poet Jaki Shelton Green, one of The News & Observer’s Tar Heel of the Year finalists, is North Carolina’s ninth Poet Laureate, the first African-American to hold the title.

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The News & Observer’s Tar Heel of the Year

The News & Observer recognizes North Carolina residents who have made significant contributions in the last year and beyond. This year, we asked readers to tell us about people who have made a difference in our state. Here are our stories.

David Menconi has covered music and the arts for The News & Observer since 1991. He can be reached at 919-829-4759 or dmenconi@newsobserver.com.