What is a Poet Laureate?
Arlington County’s Poet Laureate serves as an advocate for poetry and the literary arts and works to advance Arlingtonians’ consciousness and appreciation of poetry in its written and spoken forms. The Poet Laureate represents Arlington’s commitment to fostering a creative environment that encourages collaboration, innovation, and community participation.
What are the Arlington County Poet Laureate’s roles and responsibilities?
During each year of his or her two year term, the Poet Laureate will:
- Write at least two original poems in honor of occasions of special civic significance and present the poems at public readings
- Officiate at up to three County special events, as needed, by sharing an original work or presenting others’ words of reflection at civic events
- Serve as a juror for the annual Moving Words Poetry competition and contribute one poem to be displayed on Arlington’s ART Buses along with the winning poems
- Facilitate community engagement programs, working with Arlington Public Libraries and Arlington Cultural Affairs staff, to engage the public with poetry and the literary arts and bring poetry to a wider audience
Who is Arlington’s current Poet Laureate?
Arlington County is currently seeking its official Poet Laureate for the 2020-2022 term. With the final application deadline of March 24, 2020 by 5:00pm, the selected poet laureate’s two-year term will begin July 1, 2020. More details are available by visiting Arlington Cultural Affairs.
Who are Arlington’s former Poets Laureate?
Arlington’s first Poet Laureate was Katherine E. Young. Young is the author of Day of the Border Guards (University of Arkansas Miller Williams Prize Series, 2014), which was named one of Split This Rock’s “eagerly anticipated” picks for 2014, one of Beltway Poetry’s “Best Books of 2014″ and an Honorable Mention for the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Brockman-Campbell Award. Young’s poems, translations and reviews have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, The Iowa Review and many other publications. Young is also the translator of Two Poems by Inna Kabysh; her translations of Russian and Russophone authors have won prizes in international competitions and been published widely in the U.S. and abroad; several have been made into short films. Young is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow.
Where can I read work by the Poets Laureate?
A sampler of Katherine E. Young’s poems is available on her website. Her latest book Day of the Border Guards can be purchased from University of Arkansas Press and is available to borrow through Arlington Public Library.
Read Katherine’s first poem written for Arlington County as Poet Laureate entitled Women’s Work and presented at Libby Garvey’s swearing-in ceremony on December 13, 2016. Or watch a video of Katherine reading the poem.
Read Columbia Pike Blues, an original poem written by Katherine E. Young for the 2017 Columbia Pike Blues Festival.
How is the Poet Laureate selected?
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, must reside in Arlington during the time of application and for the duration of the appointment, and must demonstrate a track record of experience publishing and/or presenting original poetry within poetry journals, magazines, websites, and/or programs that are not predominantly self-curated, personal websites, or personal blogs. Applications are reviewed for eligibility by staff from Arlington Public Libraries and Arlington Cultural Affairs. Eligible applications are then reviewed by a panel of judges, including staff, literary professionals, and well-regarded poets from the region. The top three to four candidates are interviewed in person before a final selection is made. Full eligibility requirements and terms are available online.
Who runs the Poet Laureate program?
The Poet Laureate program is managed as a partnership between the Division of Cultural Affairs in Arlington Economic Development and Arlington Public Library. It is funded partially through the generosity of the Friends of the Library.
Who do I contact for more information about the Poet Laureate program?
For information or questions about the Poet Laureate program please contact Dan Brady, Literary Specialist for Arlington Cultural Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org