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Posted on: October 25, 2019

2020 Athens Poet Laureate Project Prospectus and Selection Criteria

OVERVIEW: The honorary 2-year position of Poet Laureate is given to a poet who expresses and celebrates Athens’ unique people and places. The Poet Laureate is an advocate for the arts and fosters a love of poetry and literature among the diversity of all residents. The City of Athens has allocated $2,000 (per year) for the appointment of a Poet Laureate. 

All submissions must be emailed no later than December 2, 2019 by 5 p.m. to: 

The Athens Municipal Arts Commission (AMAC): 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The prospectus is focused on the selection of a Poet Laureate to represent the City of Athens. The position of Poet Laureate is given to a poet who expresses and celebrates Athens’ unique people and places. The Poet Laureate is an advocate for the arts and fosters a love of poetry and literature among the diversity of all residents. 

Duration of term: Must be available to serve a full 24-month term, commencing Feb.1, 2020. Presentation of work: Presents original works of poetry at a minimum of five official city events per 

year during the tenure, and at least once per year in a school or educational setting involving children. 

Participation in community: Accepts invitations to participate in city events and meetings at the request of City Council, the City Administration or the Athens Municipal Arts Commission (AMAC) with reflections on current happenings and events. 

Representation of Athens: Represents Athens as a literary ambassador through outreach related to poetry including writing and submitting for publication poetry related to Athens. 

Communication with AMAC: Communicates with the Arts Commission upon request with an activities report and participates in an annual review. 

Copyright: The City of Athens maintains first North American serial and electronic rights and may publish works in any medium or at any particular location. All other rights revert to the poet. 

Budget: The City of Athens has allocated a $2,000 honorarium per year. This amount is to include expenses incurred by the poet. 

SELECTION PROCESS: Selection will be made by an AMAC ad hoc committee. The committee consists of 3 to 4 members from the poetry community and one from AMAC. The finalists will be selected according to the submitted proposal, prior work, and ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. The selection committee will convene, review the applications, interview 2-3 finalists, and recommend one finalist to the Athens City Council. 

The Selection Committee reserves the right to issue a second call to artists if the proposals submitted do not demonstrate the factors listed below. The committee also reserves the right to reject all pro- posals. The Selection Committee abides by the Anti-discrimination Policy, Athens City Code Title 3, Chapter 3.07. 

The following factors will be considered when reviewing submissions: • Quality of body of work 

• Appropriateness of poetic project for the community
• A 3 year residency in the Athens area and involvement in the cultural life of the community 

as well as remaining in the community throughout the tenure as Poet Laureate
• Must be at least 18 years of age
• Must have a demonstrated commitment to and passion for poetry and will embrace the 

opportunity to engage in civic discourse
• A history of literary excellence, including a publication history
• The ability and willingness to fulfill the roles of the office
• The selected poet must be willing to allow selected poems to be published on the city’s 

website (or a partner organization) and be duplicated for publicity at school and community 

events, newsletters, press releases, and possible use for art installations
• The selected poet must be willing to be photographed and recorded at readings and other 

events that may be broadcast online or via news outlets or city-sponsored television
• The selected poet must verify that the submitted works are their own and do not violate 

another’s copyright 

The finalist’s project proposal and the selection committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to the AMAC which will accept or reject the recommendation. If accepted, AMAC will present the recom- mendation to the Athens City Council. The selected poet will then enter into an agreement with the City of Athens. The Poet Laureate will be provided with an AMAC contact. 

Neither current AMAC members, ad hoc committee members, nor their immediate family members may be candidates for Poet Laureate. 

Carol Patterson, Chair • Elizabeth Braun, Vice Chair • Josh Birnbaum, Secretary
Steve Patterson, Mayor • Kent Butler, City Council • Kelly Lawrence • Scott Winland • Ann Judy Chelsa Morahan • Email: 


• December 2, 2019: Proposals due (receipt deadline) • December 20, 2019: Results announced
• February 1, 2020: Commencement of tenure 


1. Portfolio including: 

• Selections from poet’s body of work; no more than 5 pages of original poetry (one poem per page) 

• Professional Resume/ Vita including recent publication history
• Professional References: At least three professional references who have an intimate 

knowledge of your work and accomplishments. Letters of support are to be supplied by two of these. Letters can be submitted electronically to the contacts below. Include complete address and phone/email for each reference. 

2. Optional Relevant Experience and Qualifications Support Information: Up to three selections of supporting materials (reviews, website links to recorded performances, news articles, essays, etc.). 

3. Required Project Proposal (Not to exceed two pages): Candidates will submit a 500-word personal statement with a framework for a specific goal or project to be undertaken during the tenure of the appointment. Please describe an overall concept for a one-year tenure as Poet Laureate, outlining the relevance to the City of Athens, within the allotted budget. 


Bonnie Proudfoot: Carol Patterson: 

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