The City of Chicago and the Poetry Foundation Are Searching for the City’s First Poet Laureate

This month, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, in partnership with the Chicago Public Library (CPL), the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), and the Poetry Foundation, announced they are accepting nominations for Chicago’s first Poet Laureate. The program was launched as part of the city’s advocacy of creative and civic communities.

The Chicago poet laureate will be named this spring at the Chicago Public Library’s annual Poetry Fest in April. The poet will serve a two-year term and be given a $50,000 grant to commission poems and create a public program series.

“Chicago has always been a city full of talented and renowned storytellers and artists,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a news release. “I look forward to selecting a Poet Laureate who will serve and strengthen our city’s literary and creative communities.”

Written and spoken word poets can be nominated online until Jan. 18. Poets must be at least 21 years old, live in Chicago and have at least four published works in the past three years. Nominees will be reviewed by city leaders and partnering organizations.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.


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