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Time to Nominate NC’s Next Poet Laureate

From the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources:

RALEIGH—Nominations for the state’s next poet laureate, the ambassador of North Carolina literature, will be accepted now through October 14, online at www.NCDCR.gov/PoetLaureate. The timeline is short, so immediate attention to nominations is encouraged.

The post, created by the General Assembly in 1935, uses the office as a platform to promote North Carolina writers and the power of poetry and the written word. The 2014 poet laureate selection process will be led by North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz.

“This is an important position to our great state and I am committed to working with my department to find a poet laureate to represent North Carolina’s literary community,” says Kluttz. “North Carolina has a passion for poetry. I look forward to working with the experts in my department to assist Governor McCrory in identifying the next poet laureate.”

Secretary Kluttz has expanded the poet laureate process to include the North Carolina Arts Council, the Office of Archives and History, and the State Library—the three areas that make up the Department of Cultural Resources. Local and university libraries are easily-accessible locations for those without computers to make their nominations online.

“I am extremely excited that our Secretary, Susan Kluttz, will be leading the process to choose a new poet laureate for North Carolina,” says Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the NC Arts Council. “The fact that she has made the poet laureate a department-wide priority speaks to her support for the arts and of poetry in particular.”

While each North Carolina poet laureate leaves his or her own personal imprint on the program, duties typically include public activities with schools, community groups and the press, and contact with writers and readers by mail, email and/or through a website. Former Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti distinguished his term working with veterans to share their stories of military service—including combat—through poetry.

The selection criteria for the poet laureate position include:

  • A North Carolina resident with deep connections to the cultural life of this state
  • Literary excellence of the writer’s work
  • Influence on other writers and appreciation of literature in its diversity throughout the state
  • Ability and willingness to conduct the public engagement duties of the office
  • Statewide, national, or international reputation

“North Carolina is known for its excellence in the arts. Our writers, poets, artists,and musicians add to our enjoyment and quality of life while also supporting tourism and economic development in our great state,” adds Kluttz. “Governor Pat McCrory will announce his choice for the new poet laureate the first week of December and the induction ceremony will occur soon after the first of the New Year.”

Nominations for the position will be accepted online through October 14 at www.NCDCR.gov/PoetLaureate. Only electronic submissions will be accepted.