City of Olympia seeking Poet Laureate to explore issues of equity and inclusion in our community.
Every two years the City of Olympia selects a Poet Laureate to engage our entire community in the literary arts. Olympia’s take on the position of Poet Laureate is less an honorary title and more about service over status. Duties include: promoting poetry as an art form, expanding access to the literary arts, and encouraging poetry as a community voice that contributes to a sense of place. Olympia’s next Poet Laureate will be called specifically to utilize the power of poetry and language to contribute insight, foster understanding and support healing around issues of equity and inclusion in our community.
The arts are deeply tied to community, and as such, have been extraordinarily affected by this pandemic and the inability to gather. These times and this opportunity conversely can offer the opportunity to rethink engagement – to meet the changing needs of audiences by working in a COVID safe way. Poet Laureate activities should be COVID responsive and must meet local and state guidelines.
- Application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Appointment extends through December 31, 2022
- $1500 stipend per year.
All practicing poets, over the age of 18, who live or work in the City of Olympia are invited to apply.
- The appointed Poet Laureate will utilize the power of poetry and language to contribute insight, understanding and healing to explore issues of equity and inclusion.
- January 20, 2021: Application open
- January 28 , 2021, 5:30 p.m.: Pre-submission Workshop - ZOOM The workshop will address questions about the application and selection process.
- February 17, 2021, 11:59 p.m.: DEADLINE for Receipt of Submissions
- Four applications must be received for the selection process to go forward.
- February 25, 2021, 5pm p.m.: Jury - ZOOM - Jurors may select up to four finalists for interview. The panel also reserves the right to not select any applicants, if it so chooses.
- March 4, 2021, 5 p.m.: Finalist interviews
- March 11, 2021. 6 p.m.: Arts Commission reviews jury recommendation. ZOOM
- March 23, 2021, 5:30 p.m.: Arts Commission recommendation goes to City Council for approval Calendar with Zoom link
- Live or work within Olympia city limits or the Urban Growth Area.
- 18 years or older
- Be a practicing poet, dedicated to producing poetry (in any form, genre or style) on a regular basis
- Speak, read, and write English. Recognizing the diverse languages represented in the community bilingual and multilingual poets are encouraged to apply.
Scope of work
To be considered, applicants must meet all eligibility criteria and submit a packet including all requested materials. Incomplete applications and extra material will not be considered. Applicants must provide:
- 5 written poetry work samples (published or self-published)
- 1 video recording sample of a poetry reading or performance of one of the written work samples.
- A 1,000 word proposal of how they would engage with the public as the City’s Poet Laureate, including audience, community engagement strategy, and samples of workshops or projects that would support the focus or theme of their appointment.
Four applications must be received for the selection process to go forward.
Artists should bear in mind that the audiences will be broad-based and of all ages, and in representing the City’s inclusive, non-partisan stance, must use discretion when acting in the capacity of the City’s Poet Laureate.
- Aesthetic Quality: Do the written or recorded work samples exhibit strong aesthetic merit? Are the works consistently strong? Does the applicant produce poetry on a regular basis?
- Community Involvement: Does the applicant demonstrate a history of involvement and activity within the literary arts?
- Potential for Engagement: Does the proposal support the poet’s ability to engage Olympia’s citizens in meaningful ways to further the literary arts in our community?
- Kellie Braseth, Director of Strategic Communications, City of Olympia
- Frederick Dobler, Chair, Olympia Arts Commission
- Sady Sparks, Olympia Poet Laureate 2019-2020
- Erin Tail, Poet
- Thresea “Mama T” Yost, Curator of Futures Rising exhibition at SPSCC Leonor R. Fuller Gallery
Questions or assistance in applying
Contact Stephanie Johnson at 360.709.2678 or email@example.com
The City of Olympia is committed to the non-discriminatory treatment of all persons in the delivery of services and resources.
The City reserves the right not to select any artist at all and reserves the right to change the process or schedule upon public notice.