City of Philadelphia Accepting Applications for Next Poet Laureate

Philadelphia, September 4, 2013 – The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) released application materials for the selection of Philadelphia’s next Poet Laureate. The position of Poet Laureate was established in January 2012 to give one talented poet the opportunity to publicly represent the City in the medium of poetry, and to serve the art form within the city.

Sonia Sanchez, Philadelphia’s inaugural Poet Laureate, will complete her two-year term at the end of 2013. Sanchez’s accomplishments as Poet Laureate include her continued work as an advocate for peace, highlighted by the Peace is a Haiku Song interactive public art project in partnership with First Person Arts and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and the completion and dedication of the Peace is a Haiku Song mural at Broad and Christian Streets. “It is a great honor to have had Sonia Sanchez serve as Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “She has set the bar high for the position, and I am looking forward to seeing what the next Poet Laureate envisions for their term.”

The application process is administered by OACCE.  Applications must be submitted online to OACCE at by 11:59pm on September 30, 2013. The Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term starting in January 2014, during which they will raise the profile of poetry and creative writing in general within the City of Philadelphia through public events and community service activities, and provide mentorship to the city’s Youth Poet Laureate.

Submissions will be reviewed confidentially by the Poet Laureate Governing Committee, which will then make its recommendation to the Mayor. The committee comprises: Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia; Beth Feldman Brandt, poet and Executive Director of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation; Dr. Cathy Cohen, Education Director of ArtWell; Greg Corbin, Founder and Executive Director, Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement; Thomas Devaney, poet and Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry at Haverford College; Lillian Dunn, Co-founder and Executive Editor of APIARY Magazine; Al Filreis, Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania; Mytili Jagannathan, poet and Principal, of Itinerant Ink; Trapeta Mayson, poet and Vice President of Education and Family Learning at The Please Touch Museum; and Autumn McClintock, Assistant Chief of Staff at the Free Library of Philadelphia.


Detailed guidelines and the application are available online at  All applications must be submitted online to be accepted.




About OACCE: The mission of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is to support and promote arts, culture and creative industries; and to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts that weave arts, culture and creativity into the economic and social fabric of the City.

Posted in Arts & Culture, Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release, Topics
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