Plymouth Poet Laureate Application

The role of the Plymouth Poet Laureate is to elevate poetry in the consciousness of Plymouth residents and to promote the community’s values, history, people, and cultural traditions through literary arts.  The Plymouth Poet Laureate is an honorary two-year appointment.  During that term, the Poet Laureate will advocate for poetry, literature, and the arts, as well as contribute to the community’s literary legacy through public readings and participation in civic events.  The Poet Laureate is encouraged to actively propose and lead community projects that strengthen the program’s purpose.


Applications must be complete in order to be considered by the Selection Panel.  Applications may be submitted by an interested individual or an applicant may be nominated.  At the time of submission, applicants/nominees must meet the following requirements:

(parallel l structure)

  • Be available to serve a two-year term (2020-2022)
  • Be 21 years or older
  • Be a current Plymouth resident. Employees, business owners and former residents who sustain an active relationship with the community are eligible.
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry and public art
  • Be comfortable with public speaking and recitations

Duties and Responsibilities

The selected applicant is encouraged to assert broad creative control and formulate public programming that advances the vision and goals of the Poet Laureate Program. The Selection and Support Panels consist of partner agencies that will assist the Poet Laureate in conceptualizing and executing programs.

The Poet Laureate must participate at community-sponsored events, including Plymouth 400th Commemoration Opening Ceremony, Plymouth 4th of July Parade, Plymouth Waterfront Festival, America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration.  The Poet Laureate will also be active throughout the 400th Celebration and is encouraged to attend events, dedications, or memorials as appropriate.  In addition to the honorarium, the Poet Laureate will be permitted to assess a fee not to exceed $50.00.  Contributions in excess of $50.00 shall be a deemed a donation to the Poet Laureate Program and used to fund events and other public programming consistent with the Poet Laureate’s vision and the Selection and Support Panel’s guidance.

The Poet Laureate will contribute to creating a poetic identity for Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This includes acting as a resource for the Plymouth Public Library poetry and literary activities, leading the community’s efforts during National Poetry Month, and undertaking projects that will make poetry more available and accessible to residents and visitors. The Poet Laureate is encouraged to research and produce an original poem.

During the inauguration of the Poet Laureate in April 2020, the successful nominee will be expected to deliver a public recitation of an original poem that educates an audience to some exemplary person or action from Plymouth’s 400 year history.

The Poet Laureate will be charged with selecting two Student Laureates who will serve co-terminus with the Poet Laureate.  The Poet Laureate may organize and facilitate a process to identify two capable students from the Plymouth Public School System to serve in this distinct capacity.  The purpose of the Student Laureate program is to assist the Poet Laureate with the duties and responsibilities of the position, provide a different perspective of the community through the eyes of young adults, as well as enhance the literary and speaking skills of the participating students.


The Poet Laureate may approach, implement, and complete the following goals in however manner they desire.

Partnerships. Foster strategic partnerships. The Selection and Support Panel will assist in this effort.

April Poetry Month. Provide and promote events and activities to celebrate American Library Association’s National Poetry Month.

Events and Readings. Establish a series of regular public poetry events and readings throughout the year.

Collaboration. Foster strong working relationships with area non-profits, businesses, schools, and other organizations that help advance the goals of the Plymouth Poet Laureate Program.

Participation. Bring poetry into the cultural life of Plymouth by participating in Plymouth 400th Commemoration Opening Ceremony, Plymouth 4th of July Parade, Plymouth Waterfront Festival, America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration, holiday celebrations, and other civic events.

Promotion. Keep the public aware of poetry and poetry activities in Plymouth, through the use of social media and other channels.  This includes maintaining the Poet Laureate Facebook Page.

Application Process

  1. Nomination Form. Complete and submit with signature and date.
  2. Resume or CV. Submit a current resume or CV of professional activities and achievements (Max 4 pages). Submissions should be listed in chronological format, not narrative. Include significant awards, training, selected exhibitions, performances, presentations and/or publications.
  3. Work Samples. Include up to 3 original poems that represent your best artistic work. Submit not more than 1 poem per page. All pages must include the title of the poem, your name and page number(s) if necessary, and citation for publication.  All submitted work must be typed; handwritten submissions will not be accepted.
  4. Vision. In no more than two pages, describe what type of project(s) you would undertake to make poetry more available and accessible to Plymouth residents and visitors.

Completed submissions must be hand-delivered by Friday, December 13, 2019 or post-marked by Sunday, December 15, 2019


Target Dates Task Notes
Friday, Nov 1 Applications Available Paper submissions only.  Apps available at Library, Chamber
Sunday, Dec 15 Applications Due Submissions due to Library and/or Chamber. Post marked by 12/15.
Wednesday, Dec 18 Panel receives apps Panel meets to discuss qualified submissions. Qualified submissions copied for panelists to review
Friday, Jan 3 Panel completes review Panel identifies up to 5 semi-finalists to invite to public recitation at Library.
Thurs, Feb 27* Public Recitation Library hosts community event 7-8:30. Semi-finalists given 10 mins each. Doors open at 6. Refreshments provided by Foundation
*Snow Day on 3/5
Wed, Mar 11 Poet Laureate and Runner-Up chosen Based on paper submissions and public performance, panelists decide finalist and runner-up
Thurs, Apr 9 Public Ceremony Mallebar Brasserie to host event. Poet Laureate recites original work about Plymouth.

Deliver completed application to: Plymouth Public Library c/o Jennifer Harris, 132 South Street, Plymouth, MA 02360 or Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce c/o Amy Naples, 134 Court Street, Plymouth, MA 02360

Poet Laureate Selection and Support Panel

Heather Casey, Restaurateur and Downtown Business Advocate. Mallebar Brasserie, Blue-Eyed Crab

Stephen Cole, Executive Director. The Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation

Jennifer Harris, Library Director. Plymouth Public Library

David Kindy, Reporter. Old Colony Memorial/GateHouse Media

Amy Naples, Executive Director. Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce




  • Organizer:

    Stephen Cole