Thursday, June 23, 2016

Search Begins for 2016-2018 Duluth Poet Laureate

"Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things... I am tempted to think there are no little things." ~ Barton Sutter

Published by Holy Cow Press
The quote above is a favorite of mine. Interestingly enough, it's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of poetry, and the poetry culture that has evolved here in the Northland. It's probably no accident that Duluth became the first city in Minnesota to have an official Poet Laureate. What's happening here in the arts and culture is pretty exciting, probably that would be lost in a major metro like the Twin Cities. Add to this the pristine natural riches we have here with the lakes, hills hiking trails, biking trails and more.

So it is with pride that I note this announcement that applications are now open for the selection of the 2016-2018 Duluth poet laureate.

Here are the details, courtesy Jim Perlman of Holy Cow Press!

Poets who have lived or worked in the Duluth, Minnesota area for five of the past ten years, and who provide the requested application materials according to the guidelines, are eligible. Applicant poets must live in Duluth or within 30 miles of Duluth in Minnesota. The 2016/2018 Duluth poet laureate will be selected by a committee of representatives from Duluth's literary community, related businesses, colleges and universities and those interested in the field of poetry.

The Duluth Poet Laureate project was established in 2005; Barton Sutter was chosen as its first poet laureate in 2006; Jim Johnson was selected as Duluth's second poet laureate in 2008, Sheila Packa in 2010 and Deborah Cooper in 2012. Jim Johnson returned for a second term as 2014-16 Duluth Poet Laureate.

Since the establishment of this award, several Minnesota cities have selected poet laureates, including Saint Paul, Red Wing , Rochester, and Winona. Robert Bly was appointed Minnesota's first state poet laureate in February, 2008; Joyce Sutphen was appointed in Fall, 2011 as Minnesota's second state poet laureate in recent times.

The 2016-2018 Duluth Poet Laureate will be awarded a $3,000 honorarium for a two-year term. Funding for the poet laureate project is provided by area organizations who are represented on the poet laureate selection committee.

Applications guidelines and more information about the 2016-18 Duluth poet laureate project are available by writing to: Duluth Poet Laureate Program, 711 Woodland Avenue, Duluth, Minnesota 55812, or by e-mail: Copies are also available at the main branch of the Duluth Public Library, information desk, 520 West Superior Street, Duluth.

The application deadline for the 2016/18 Duluth Poet Laureate program is September 2, 2016. A crowning ceremony and reception for the new Duluth poet laureate will take place in October, 2016.

I know who I would vote for. Then again, there is so much talent in this community.

I know I'm biased, but here's what I have to say: Duluth, you Rock. 

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For a good read, visit my blog post titled Whitman, Dylan and Me: Uncanny Connections.

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