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Mayor Walsh announces poet laureate search during national poetry month

April 11, 2014

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has announced a search for Boston’s next Poet Laureate and assembled a diverse and distinguished search committee. The City’s Poet Laureate is tasked with raising the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of Bostonians, acting as an advocate for poetry, language and the arts, and creating a unique artistic legacy through public readings and civic events. The search committee will work to identify qualified candidates as well as review submitted applications for the position.

Mayor Walsh has assembled a nine member panel from Boston’s literary community to serve as the 2014 Poet Laureate Search Committee. All contribute in significant ways to City of Boston Poetry and Literature, and, reflect a variety of writing traditions, life experiences, and backgrounds.

  • Tory Bullock, poet, actor, member of the Boston Cultural Council
  • Rafael Campo, Poet, M.A., M.D., Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital 
  • Charles Coe, poet, musician, Program Officer at the Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • Sam Cornish, Current Poet Laureate, 2008 to present, City of Boston
  • Krysten Hill, performance poet, Educator at University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Giles Li, poet, Executive Director of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
  • Fred Marchant, poet, Professor Emeritus and Director of Creative Writing Program, Suffolk University
  • Jill McDonough, poet, professor at University of  Massachusetts, Boston
  • Amy Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library, (Mayor's Representative)

The Poet Laureate is a ceremonial appointment, and the chosen poet will be a significant fixture in Boston's cultural and artistic arena. He or she may learn, teach, and embody the great literary traditions of Boston, from Amy Lowell to Robert Pinsky. An RFP for interested poets will be posted at Applications will be due May 23 and a poet laureate will be chosen on or about June 23.

Sam Cornish is Boston’s current Poet Laureate. Cornish has served in the position since the program was established in 2008, generating new opportunities for education, awareness, and the promotion of literacy through the beauty and excellence of poetry.