POET LAUREATE NOMINATIONS
The Poet Laureate of Maryland is an honorary position established by the Maryland General Assembly. A citizen poet is selected and serves at the discretion of the Governor for up to a four-year term renewable by the Governor’s consent. Ten Poet Laureates have served since the position’s inception in 1959, including (in order of service): Maria B. Coker, Vincent Godfrey Burns, Lucille Clifton, Reed Whittemore, Linda Pastan, Roland Flint, Michael Collier, Michael Glaser, Stanley Plumly, and Grace Cavalieri.
In 2023, MSAC is facilitating a selection process to make recommendations for the Governor’s selection of Maryland's next Poet Laureate. The person selected will undertake projects that make poetry more available and accessible to citizens of Maryland of all ages and perform public readings, ensuring that people in all geographic regions of the State have access to at least one reading during the term of service. Poets Laureate are expected to seize this opportunity to expand their artistry while bridging the gap generationally and culturally through poetry. As an honorary position, the Poet Laureate will not receive compensation, though limited reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of duties is available. Poets of all types are encouraged to apply.
POET LAUREATE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
The Poet Laureate must:
- be a one-year legal resident of the State;
- available and able to travel throughout the State;
- demonstrate a proven history of the substantial publication of individual poems and/or books, or have a substantial history of public spoken word performances;
- demonstrate a commitment to and passion for poetry and embrace the opportunity to engage proactively in community service to make poetry more accessible and available to residents.
Nominees must meet eligibility and submit an application that includes:
- poet’s statement;
- a one-page resume;
- a sample of five poems (must include publication and one 2-5 minutes video performance entry via YouTube or Vimeo link); and
- up to two letters of recommendation.
Poet Laureate nominations may come from any organization or individual in the State of Maryland. Self-nominations are acceptable. Only complete applications will be reviewed.