Seattle Announces 2015 Civic Poet Program

Just in time for Poetry month in April, Seattle is launching a Civic Poet Program. The Civic Poet program celebrates Seattle’s rich literary community, while investing in the future of literary arts through community engagement.  The call for the 2015 Civic Poet opens Thursday, April 16 and will close Thursday, May 28. The Civic Poet program is administered by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

“Seattle is one of the most well-read cities in the country. From libraries to book stores, from universities to literary organizations, Seattle is passionate about language,” says Mayor Murray. “The Civic Poet program celebrates our history and commitment to the written and spoken word, and the people who have given it such a place of honor in our city.”

The new two-year Civic Poet post will serve as a cultural ambassador for Seattle’s rich, multi-hued literary landscape and will represent Seattle’s diverse cultural community. In addition to five annual performances, the Civic Poet will also complete hands-on work with communities to engage constituents city-wide.

Seattle’s Civic Poet will serve a term of two years, from July 2015 to July 2017, and will receive a $10,000 stipend distributed over the two year term. Applicants must be Seattle-based, eligible to work in the U.S., have at least five years of professional experience, and a demonstrated interest in civic engagement and the power of the written and spoken word.

The Civic Poet program is inspired by the previous Poet Populist program instituted in 1999 by Seattle City Council member Nick Licata. The goal of the Poet Populist program was to support the practice of literary arts democracy, and promote local literary arts organizations to a general audience citywide. The Poet Populist program was discontinued in 2008. The Civic Poet program will continue the legacy of the Poet Populist program by fostering community dialogue and engagement between the public and artists, while celebrating the literary arts.

To learn more about the call, visit http://www.seattle.gov/arts/funding/civic_poet.asp. For questions about the call, please contact Annie Holden, (206) 733-9591.

Photo: Adillia Scott presenting at the City’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in January 2015. Photo by Jenny Crooks.