Call for Nominations: Inaugural Athens Cultural Affairs Commission Poet Laureate
Athens-Clarke County announces the creation of a Poet Laureate program funded and administered by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC). ACAC is currently seeking applicants. Application deadline: March 2, 2021.
ACAC views the Poet Laureate position as a means to further enhance the profile of poets, poetry, and literary arts in our community and beyond. The Poet Laureate is expected to bring poetry to segments of our community that have less access or exposure to poetry: senior citizens, youth, schools and more. The Poet Laureate will be a creative person with the demonstrated ability to enact their vision. The Poet Laureate will make several guest appearances during the term, promoting poetry throughout the community.
The Poet Laureate will serve for a two-year term and will be provided an honorarium of $2,000, funded in semi-annual installments*. A contract will be derived with expectations detailed as to the public benefit required of the position, which will be jointly determined with the final applicant and review committee. The expectation is that the position will foster appreciation and expand awareness of poetry in the county. The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission will support the Laureate in networking within the community but actual work must be accomplished by the chosen candidate.
* ACAC can fund $500 every 6 months or $1000 every 12 months for a 2 year stipend totaling $2000. Matching support might be used for any of the following:
- Poetry projects in Athens
- Letterpress broadside print of one poem by the selected laureate
- Printing press copies of the broadside to be distributed and/or sold to ACC community and gifted to the poet.
- Funds or skills to match additional ACAC funds to produce a permanent copy of the poem to be placed in a public space to be selected in collaboration with ACC and the poet.
- Space rental, sound, and/or catering for public poetry performances
- Supplies for educative poetry events with children to adults
- Printing of poetry on the local transit buses
A committee, comprised of local poets, teachers, librarians, city representatives, and/or arts administrators, will review the applications based on the evaluation criteria and select three to six applicants to be finalists.
Finalists will be interviewed with the expectation that they will further refine their proposed vision and public component for the position. The interview process will also provide the selection committee the ability to inquire more of the candidate. Based on the four criteria below, the committee will select a final candidate.
The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission Poet Laureate will be reviewed and chosen on the basis of the four criteria (percentage weights included) with an emphasis on celebrating and highlighting poetry in Athens-Clarke County:
- Excellence in craftsmanship, as demonstrated by submitted original poems and/or book(s) (25%)
- Providing a vision for the position. How will your work within the community elevate and celebrate and create awareness of poetry. Please convey your vision for the position with details of planned outreach and collaborations. (25%)
- Professional achievement in the field of poetry. Merit shall be proven by publication and/or performance credits either in small press or large press publications [self published work will not receive credit]; also, awards or recognition such as grants, fellowships, prizes, and/or other recognition. (25%)
- A history of actively promulgating the visibility of poetry and/or the arts in Athens neighborhoods and literary communities through readings, publications, promotion of events, public presentations and/or workshops and other types of teaching and literary community involvement. This includes the minimum one year residence or more in Athens, GA with intent to remain in Athens for the two year term. (25%)
The selection committee will range from three to six members with one chair who will serve for no more than two consecutive terms as chair. Each committee will have a first- and second-year Member at Large & rotate into chair position.
- Selection committee and chair established: November 2020
- Call for Nominations; First and Second Year Member at Large selected: January 2021
- Virtual Info Session (via Webex): February 2, 2021
- Deadline for nominations to be received by ACAC: March 2, 2021
- Athens Poet Laureate Committee meets to select finalists: March 2021
- Finalist interviews: March 2021
- Athens Poet Laureate recommendations submitted to the Mayor & Commission: April 1-5, 2021
- Poet Laureate Announced during Poetry Month: April 6, 2021
- Poet Laureate position begins duties: April, 2021
- Read poems at ceremonial or literary events that are free and open to the public (examples could include at the unveiling of a new building or bridge that will benefit the community; swearing-in for elected officials, etc.), at Mayor & Commission or other public meetings
- Champion the art of poetry and the spoken word in the community in person and on social media
- Encourage appreciation of the art form and creative expression by a wide-range of county residents, including youth
- Celebrate the community’s cultural heritage
- Attend literary and other cultural events in the county as appropriate
- Give 5-10 public readings and workshops that are free and open to the public, including visits to schools and/or events for young people
- Provide updates as requested
All nominations must be submitted to Athens-Clarke County’s online system of calls for entry, care of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC).
All of the following must accompany your submission:
- Contact information, including your name(s), mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and website (if applicable).
- Curriculum Vitae / Poetry-Related Bio / History of public engagement
- PDF copy of published book(s)[pdf preferred over hard copy] and/or up to 20 pages of original print poetry [if spoken word, provide up to 20 pages of original poetic works and any video link equivalent.]
- One- to three-page vision statement with details as to how you will implement the public benefit component. Include any relevant budget (additional budget beyond the poet’s stipend may be up to $1500).
Andrew Salinas, Chairman
Athens Cultural Affairs Commission