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Chicago Is Looking For Its First Poet Laureate

Written and spoken word poets can be nominated until Jan. 18

The Chicago Poetry Block Party.
Sarah-Ji Rhee
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CHICAGO — The city is looking for its first poet laureate.

The poet will be an active participant in city youth programs and an “ambassador for the city’s literary and creative communities,” according to a city news release. The poet will serve a two-year term and be given a $50,000 grant to commission poems and create a public program series.

Chicagoans can nominate local poets online until Jan. 18. Poets must be at least 21 years old, live in Chicago and have at least four published works in the past three years.

Written and spoken word poets can be nominated, according to the city.

Nominees will be reviewed by city leaders and partnering organizations: the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago Public Library and the Poetry Foundation.

The Chicago poet laureate will be appointed this spring, making their introduction at the Chicago Public Library’s annual Poetry Fest in April.

“Chicago has always been a city full of talented and renowned storytellers and artists,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in the news release. “I look forward to selecting a Poet Laureate who will serve and strengthen our city’s literary and creative communities.”

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