Philadelphia, September 8, 2015 – 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.

“This role is not only an acknowledgement of creative greatness, but also an opportunity for poetry to engage the city and inspire community action,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “Frank Sherlock has done an excellent job carrying out the City’s vision for our Poet Laureate program and I look forward to learning what the next Poet Laureate envisions for their term.”

Frank Sherlock, Philadelphia’s current Poet Laureate, will complete his two-year term at the end of 2015. Sherlock’s accomplishments as Poet Laureate included “Write Your Block,” a city-wide poetry project that encouraged Philadelphia’s of all ages to explore their neighborhoods and use poetry to map the personal landmarks, histories, traditions and experiences with which they identify their communities. This project included workshops at Taller Puertorriqueño and Mighty Writers West, as well as an online toolkit and submission portal at

The application process is administered by OACCE.  Applications must be submitted online to OACCE at by 11:59pm on October 6, 2015. The Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term starting in January 2016, during which they will raise the profile of poetry and creative writing in general within the City of Philadelphia through public events and a community service project, and provide mentorship to as well as help select 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: Helen Haynes, 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; Al Filreis, Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania; Trapeta Mayson, poet and Executive Director of Historic Germantown; and Autumn McClintock, Strategic Initiatives at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

 Detailed guidelines and the application are available online atto  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 Mayor's Press Releases
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