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2020 Piedmont Laureate Applications Open

David Menconi, the 2019 Piedmont Laureate

The City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County announce the opening of the application process for the position of Piedmont Laureate for 2020.

For the 2020 cycle, applications will be accepted from writers of plays, musicals and screenplays (for film, television and video games).

Applications for the position are due October 7, 2019, by midnight.

Apply here.

The Piedmont Laureate must be 18 years of age or older and have been a resident of Wake, Durham, or Orange counties for at least one year. Candidates should plan on maintaining residency in Wake, Durham, or Orange counties for the duration of their appointment as Laureate.

The Piedmont Laureate will receive an honorarium of $6,000 (distributed in two payments). Additionally, the Laureate will be recognized at various area events and receive media coverage related to the Laureate program.

Specific outreach activities for the Piedmont Laureate program, planned in conjunction with the sponsoring agencies, will reflect the program’s stated goals, including:

  • Public readings and other creative writing activities;
  • Participation at select public functions;
  • Media appearances (not to exceed 6); and
  • Creation of at least one (1) original activity to expand appreciation of literature.

Additionally, the Piedmont Laureate will be encouraged to offer suggestions for future projects that will inspire public engagement and support of the literary arts.

The Piedmont Laureate will be selected by a committee appointed by the sponsoring agencies. Each year the program will be open to writers creating work in a selected literary genre (poetry, Dls, plays, etc.).

The 2019 Piedmont Laureate is David Menconi, who was a music critic and arts reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh from 1991-2019. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, The New York Times, and Salon.com. His books include the 2012 biography Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown (University of Texas Press), and his next book will be a history of North Carolina music for UNC Press. He also hosts “That Old North State Radio Hour,” a weekly show about North Carolina music, on That Station, 95.7-FM in Raleigh, NC.

Past Piedmont Laureates include Carrie Knowles, Zelda Lockhart, James Maxey, Nancy Peacock, and the current NC Poet Laureate and NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green.