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Poet Laureate Program

The Poet Laureate for the City of Cape Canaveral is an ambassador for our community’s cultural interests, they promote the value of the written word and help celebrate the City’s literary culture. This is an honorary position awarded to a person who has established a presence in the world of poetry, demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry and embraces the opportunity to engage the community through poetry.

This is not a political appointment, nor is it a paid position.

Program Objectives

  • Enhance the presence of literary arts in Cape Canaveral.
  • Encourage the reading and writing of literature and poetry.
  • Raise awareness of the power of poetry and the spoken word.
  • Provide a forum for arts collaboration.
  • Promote poetry as an inclusive form of literature, bridging cultural and generational divides.
  • Promote the City’s visioning and cultural identity.

For consideration, an applicant must be a poet and current resident of Cape Canaveral, available and willing to collaborate with other local poets and artists to develop poetry-related activities that address the objectives of the program. Poetry produced for this program must be written and/or translated into English. The Poet Laureate must be capable of and willing to fulfill all duties associated with the position to include: attend meetings and make public appearances, as needed, in accordance to expectations developed in this document. Additionally, due to the Poet Laureate’s engagement with protected vulnerable populations, nominees will be required to undergo a DCF Level II background screening, payable by the City.

The duties of the Poet Laureate shall include:

  1. Ceremonial: As a public voice and representative of our community, the Poet Laureate will appear at public events as recommended by Staff, City Council or community groups. It is preferable that poems presented at events be original and tailored to the occasion. If this is not possible, appropriate past work is acceptable. Upon appointment, the Poet Laureate will collaborate with the Cultural Programs Manager in order to determine a schedule of events he or she will attend.
  2. Educational: The first year of the Poet Laureate’s term, they will be expected to select and mentor a junior poet laureate from a local elementary, middle or high school. The Poet Laureate must also propose and execute at least one educational outreach initiative each year of their term. Activities planned by the Poet Laureate in an official capacity shall be free and open to the public.
Examples of such initiatives include:

  • Curate a series of poetry readings with unique subject matter, themes or venues.
  • Host and/or coordinate creative writing workshops within the community.
  • Collaborate with existing organizations to further the public’s appreciation for and interaction with poetry and the written word.
  • Work with schools and library to develop public poetry projects/activities.
  • Develop a collaborative activity/event that mingles poetry with science or other artistic genres.
Terms of Service 

The Poet Laureate shall be appointed to serve one (1) three-year term, with the current one beginning April 1, 2019 and ending March 31, 2022. If an appointee is unable to fulfill their term due to illness, relocation or an inability to perform the required duties, Staff may fill the vacancy by considering previously submitted and qualified applicants and/or commence the selection process anew. In such instances, the “replacement” Poet Laureate will complete the term of the exiting appointee. An interim Poet Laureate may apply for the next complete term. The Poet Laureate shall serve at the will of the Culture and Leisure Services Advisory Board and may be removed at any time with or without cause.

Poet Laureates may not serve more than two full consecutive terms. Previous Poet Laureates shall be eligible to serve a future term provided a minimum one-year hiatus is taken.

The Poet Laureate is prohibited from soliciting or accepting monetary donations/gifts or pursuing grants intended to provide financial assistance to the Poet Laureate program without prior written approval from the City Manager.

Application + Selection Process

Contact us

Molly Thomas
Cultural & Community Affairs Director

(321) 868-1220

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