Poet Laureate

The Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission (AIPPC) has created the position of Poet Laureate for the City of Annapolis, read on to learn more.

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The Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission (AIPPC) has created the position of Poet Laureate for the City of Annapolis to support a greater appreciation of local people, places, history, and communal belonging through the reading and writing of poetry.

The Poet Laureate is the poetic voice of our City, and in undertaking this role, will participate in public events, perform and speak to the public, and reach out to the community to encourage appreciation of poetry and literary arts. 

2021-2023 Term

The AIPPC urges poets who meet the qualifications below to apply for consideration for the role of Poet Laureate for the City of Annapolis by February 26, 2021. 

The Poet Laureate will serve a one-year term, renewable for a second year, and is encouraged to nurture appreciation of poetry and literature by conducting public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in neighborhoods, schools, institutions of higher learning, and other public settings in geographically diverse areas of the city. The Poet Laureate will receive an annual honorarium of $500 from the AIPPC.

Submissions from poets from all walks of life and writing in all poetry forms are welcome. Mayor Buckley will appoint the Poet Laureate following the recommendation of the AIPPC, and the Poet Laureate will begin the term of service on April 1, 2021.

Poet Laureate Qualifications: In order to be considered for the position, applicants and nominees must either live, work, or attend an academic institution within the City of Annapolis; be at least 18 years old; and be distinguished in the field of poetry as demonstrated through a body of work, published or unpublished. 

Application Information: The application/nomination deadline is Friday, February 26, 2021. The application/nomination form is available here and requires the submittal of five poems and two short essays. The completed application or nomination must be sent via email to annapolispoetlaureate@gmail.com or via postal mail to the AIPPC, Pip Moyer Recreation Center, 273 Hilltop Lane, Annapolis, MD 21403.

Poet Laureate for 2018-2020

On June 11, Mayor Gavin Buckley announced the selection of U.S. Naval Academy English Professor Temple Cone as poet laureate for the City of Annapolis for the 2018-2020 term.

Cone is the author of four books of poetry, six poetry chapbooks, and reference books on Walt Whitman and 20th-Century American poetry. He has received two Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, an Annie Award for Literary Achievement from the Anne Arundel Arts Council, and the Harold G. Henderson Haiku Award from the Haiku Society of America, and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin, an MFA from the University of Virginia, and an MA from Hollins University, and is Professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy.  More information may be found at www.templecone.com.

Cone offered this poem to the AIPPC and selection panel in 2018, after being asked “What is poetry?”:

On Failing to Offer a Definition of Poetry

Wisdom’s choristry, I might have called it,

an echo slipped from the caves of memory,

or lasso for the sadness galloping

over the heart, that leads it back to pasture.

But poetry cannot instruct, nor cure.

It is the sound of our own lives, waking

to the sound of our own lives, a descant

of small hopes, ordinary fears, and swerves

along the curvy mountain road of love,

a sound often ignored, but at peril.

And poets, poor poets, are the lightning bugs

to poetry’s lightning: a child’s amusement

on summer nights, the sometime reminder

that richer flashes heavenward abound.