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City of Auburn / Seeks Poet Laureate

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City of Auburn Poet Laureate

About the Program

What is the City of Auburn Poet Laureate Position?
The City of Auburn Poet Laureate recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. The Poet Laureate also encourages appreciation of poetry and literary life in Auburn. Once a Poet Laureate program is established the Auburn Arts Commission will forward a recommendation to the Mayor for final selection and appointment.

What is the Term of Service and Compensation?

The term of service for the next Poet Laureate will be three years, beginning in the January of 2018. The award is honorific. There is no financial compensation for the position.
Who is eligible to be nominated Poet Laureate of City of Auburn?

Any member of the public may nominate a poet for the Poet Laureate position by following the application process offered in this document. Individuals are encouraged to nominate poets from all walks of life, and all poetry forms are welcome. Nominations for Auburn’s Poet Laureate will be accepted for poets who meet the following eligibility requirements:

• Poet must be a resident of Auburn for at least one year.
• Applicant and nominee must be at least 18 years old.
• Poet must have produced work of the highest caliber and have contributed substantial service to the development of the literary arts as demonstrated by the submitted application.
• Poet’s submitted work samples may be on any topic, although consideration will be given to works representative of Auburn and its history. All poetry forms will be considered.
• A poet may not self-nominate him or herself.
• No award will be given posthumously.
• Poet must not be: a member of the current Auburn Arts Commission, City of Auburn staff member, or be a person in a member’s or staff’s immediate family or household.
What is the selection process for the Poet Laureate?
A panel drawn from members of the literary community will select three finalists from among the nominations. The three finalists will be submitted to the Auburn Arts Commission for review, approval, and recommendation. The Poet Laureate of Auburn will then be chosen by the Mayor from among these nominees in December.
What are the obligations of the Poet Laureate?
City staff will coordinate a public ceremony honoring the new Poet Laureate in conjunction with a public program. The Poet Laureate will be invited to participate in various City of Auburn public openings and events throughout the three year term. 

How will Poet Laureate nominations be evaluated?

The Poet Laureate will be chosen on the basis of three criteria:
• Excellence as evidenced by the submitted poetry sample
• Exemplary professionalism as evidenced by an established history of publication in journals and books, special honors, awards, fellowships, and/or other recognition
• Advancement of poetry in Auburn communities as evidenced by a history of activity in Auburn’s literary community through readings, publications, public presentations and/or teaching
Re-nomination of Previously Nominated Poets
Nominations are not carried over in future years. If you wish to nominate someone who has been nominated before, a new nomination application and materials must be submitted.
For further information, contact:
Allison Hyde, Arts Coordinator, City of Auburn, 253-804-5043,


• Send all documents as attachments via email to the Auburn Arts Coordinator: Allison Hyde at (as PDF of Word documents)
• Use 12-point type font or larger for all materials
• Provide copyright information where appropriate. All submissions become part of the public record. Both published and non-published poetry may be submitted
• Submit application by or before the deadline
• Save all documents in the following format: Poet’s Last Name_Document Name (i.e. Hyde_Nomination Form.pdf or Hyde_Cover Letter.doc)

• Send physical application in mail


* All of these must be in .pdf or.doc format and submitted by email!

• Poet Nomination Form (signed by Poet Nominee)
• Nominator’s Form (signed by Nominator)
• Cover Letter (from Nominator): Use no more than 2 written pages to introduce your poet nominee, offer reasons why they meet the criteria and are a good candidate for the position, and offer examples of how they have advanced poetry in Auburn
• Poet’s Bio/Resume/Curriculum Vitae: Use no more than 2 pages (compiled by Poet)
• Supplemental Materials: Poet’s Awards, Press Releases, Letters of Recommendation, List of published work. Use no more than 2 pages to address the criteria of exemplary professionalism (compiled by poet and nominee)
• Ten poems: Use no more than 15 pages in total

For further information, contact:

Allison Hyde, Arts Coordinator, City of Auburn
253-804-5043 or

Eligible media

Literary Arts