City of Port Townsend signs off on poet laureate program

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 3/29/23

After a year of preparation, the city of Port Townsend is set to appoint a poet laureate starting in 2024.

The Port Townsend City Council unanimously approved the move during its Monday meeting, …

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City of Port Townsend signs off on poet laureate program

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After a year of preparation, the city of Port Townsend is set to appoint a poet laureate starting in 2024.

The Port Townsend City Council unanimously approved the move during its Monday meeting, with the proposal calling for the city mayor to appoint a poet laureate in late 2023.

It will be a pilot program, and the selected poet laureate will be chosen by a panel of experts identified by the Arts Commission, an Arts Commission representative, and a city council representative.

The poet laureate will serve the city in a variety of ways and will receive a $1,200 honorarium for 2024 with the option to extend for 2025.

The responsibility will entail no less than four publicly accessible events with an additional option of two more events, writing one or more poems with a theme integral to the city, work with the Port Townsend Public Library regarding educational programming, and creating a special project for the city.

The idea was originally hatched by the Port Townsend Arts Commission. The three-person panel selected by the commission includes Ellie Matthews, Lisbeth White, and Shin Yu Pai.

The city council’s representative will be Councilmember Ben Thomas, and the Arts Commission’s representative has yet to be publicly announced.

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