City of Westport Poet Laureate Search
The Westport Arts Advisory Committee (WAAC) has announced the search for the town’s second Poet Laureate, whose 2-year term will begin July 1.
The WAAC launched the position of City Poet Laureate in 2019. The first recipient, Diane Lowman, will have served a 3-year term on June 30, extended for one year due to the pandemic. During her tenure, Diane has recited and organized poetry at ceremonies and municipal events, in schools, at the Seniors Activity Centre, at the library and at arts events. At the start of the pandemic, she launched a campaign of lawn signs with haikus and images, to help boost morale in town.
Ms Lowman said: “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Westport as Poet Laureate. My time in this position has only strengthened my belief in the breadth and depth of kindness and creativity in this community. I hope I have returned even a fraction of the joy that this experience has brought me.
The City of Westport Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador for the city and the literary form, helping to celebrate and continue the city’s vibrant literary history. The Office of the First Select Woman appoints the Poet Laureate; WAAC administers the program.
The objectives of the Poet Laureate include, but are not limited to:
- Promote poetry as a form of communication, inspiration and entertainment for local residents.
- Participate in the Connecticut Poet Laureate group to create and participate in programs statewide.
- Expand access and create connection through poetry.
- Raise awareness and appreciation of all forms of poetry.
- Defender of poetry, literature and the arts.
- Contribute to the city’s literary heritage through public readings and participation in civic events.
Applicants should be aged 21 or over, live in Westport and have a wide range of relevant knowledge and experience. They must be comfortable with public speaking and willing to work collaboratively with the city school district, library, and other cultural organizations to develop and present poetry-related activities and events. The candidate should have sufficient time and flexibility to meet these and other job requirements. The City of Westport Poet Laureate is a two-year unpaid honorary position.
The deadline for submitting applications and supporting documents is Friday, April 15. A committee made up of representatives from Westport Schools, Westport Library and WAAC will review applications and interview finalists as part of the selection process. The new Poet Laureate will be announced June 1.
The Westport Arts Advisory Committee was established by the RTM in 1997; its members are appointed by the first elected. WAAC is committed to increasing public awareness of all Westport artists, arts organizations and cultural resources.