Arts Commission invites nominations for Poet Laureate
AUGUSTA – The Maine Arts Commission is calling for nominations to select a new State Poet Laureate for a five-year term.
The Maine Poet Laureate Post is an appointment designed to promote poetry statewide while honoring a Maine poet whose work can inspire an understanding and appreciation of the art of poetry.
Current Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum of Deer Isle ends his five-year term in 2021. Kestenbaum has used his position to share poetry across many different mediums, including his Poems from Here collaboration with Maine Public, which features a new poem from Maine every week. Kestenbaum is the author of five collections of poems, the most recent of which is âHow to Begin Againâ (Deerbrook Editions, 2019). He is also the author of the essay collection âThe View from Hereâ (Brynmorgen Press, 2012).
“We are very grateful to Stu for his wonderful work at the Poet Laureate,” Arts Commission executive director David Greenham said in a commission press release. Greenham will facilitate the process of selecting Maine’s next Poet Laureate. âWe see this as a wonderful opportunity to recognize another member of Maine’s thriving poet community,â he added.
The Poet Laureate position was created by Maine law in 1995. Specific duties are minimal to ensure incumbents maximum freedom to work on their own projects during their tenure. Although the post does not include a stipend, all expenses are paid for appearances and programs, which include an annual lecture and reading of his poetry, participation in the administration of the commission of the National Poetry Out project. Loud, and appearances and events to expand appreciation, understanding, and participation in poetry in Maine communities. Each poet laureate brings a different emphasis to the position.
To be considered for this nomination, poets must be full-time residents of Maine and have a distinguished body of poetry. Applicants must submit up to five poems, totaling no more than 10 pages, along with a one-page statement outlining their vision for their public role as Poet Laureate and a copy of their curriculum vitae by no later than June 1st.
To apply, use this link: form.gle/NCTAQx9kNWJLNAKr6
The Maine Poet Laureate Review Panel will be Governor (and Poet) Janet Mills; Samaa Abdurraqib, Maine Humanities Council; Susan Minot, author and poet; Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Maine Writers and Editors; and James Ritter, State Library of Maine.
Since the inception of the post, Maine Poet Laureates have included Kate Barnes (1996-99), Baron Wormser (2000-05), Betsy Sholl (2006-11), Wesley McNair (2011-16) and Stuart Kestenbaum (2016- 2021).
For more information, email Greenham at [emailÂ protected]. Visit mainearts.com for more information, like the organization on Facebook, or follow @artsinMaine on Instagram.
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