BIRMINGHAM, AL – Create Birmingham, in partnership with the City of Birmingham, is excited to announce the launch of the 2024-2025 City of Birmingham Poet Laureate initiative.
This initiative is in partnership with the City of Birmingham and is funded by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and The Birmingham City Council’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Committee. Applications will open on Tuesday, August 1 and submissions will be due on Monday, October 2.
The poet laureate will begin their two-year term in January 2024. This is an honorary position and roles and responsibilities include making local appearances, facilitating public and educational programs, and building advocacy and community through poetry. The poet laureate will receive an honorarium of $5,000. Additional funds will be available for materials and other approved program costs associated with community engagement programs that the poet laureate facilitates.
Applicants must be age 18 years old or older, reside in the City of Birmingham at the time of application and for the duration of the appointment, demonstrate a track record of public presentation of original poetry, including in-person and/or online events and via websites and/or social media, and have capacity and availability to attend periodic public events over the course of the two-year term.
Alabama’s Poet Laureate, Ashley Jones, had this to say about the new initiative; “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my first two years as Alabama Poet Laureate, it’s that poets mean something to the community, and the more we can honor poets for their tireless work to create and connect community, the better! The Birmingham Poet Laureate Program is so exciting because the Magic City community is vibrant, artistic, passionate, and involved, and our poets are no different. I can’t wait to see all the beauty this inaugural Birmingham Poet Laureate will make!”
Birmingham is one of two Alabama cities selected by the Alabama State Council on the Arts to enact an inaugural City Poet Laureate program, the other city being Mobile. Dr. Elliot Knight, Executive Director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts says, “We are proud to partner with Create Birmingham to support the creation of a local poet laureate position in Birmingham. Alabama has a rich literary arts history and is home to many talented and nationally recognized authors. This program will highlight the important role poetry and creativity play in our lives, support and encourage individual artists, and educate and engage students and the public. I am excited about the launch of this program and am appreciative of the partnership with Create Birmingham and the willingness of the City of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council to embrace this artistic endeavor.”
The guidelines and submission materials can be found on Create Birmingham’s website. For more information on the City Poet Laureate program, visit createbirmingham.org. Questions can be sent to Community Engagement Manager Viola Ratcliffe at email@example.com.