Aug. 28, 2019 By Allie Griffin
There’s still time to apply to be Queens next Poet Laureate, as the deadline has been extended until Friday, Sept. 20 at 5 p.m.
Borough President Melinda Katz announced the extension Tuesday.
Along with Queens Public Library and Queens College, Katz is hosting an open call to fill the prestigious position. The Poet Laureate is responsible for promoting a love of poetry and literacy throughout the borough and serves a three-year term.
Applications for the unpaid position are being accepted online at www.queensbp.org/poet. Candidates must be published poets and current residents of Queens who have lived in the borough for at least two years. The winner will be “a talented writer who can demonstrate a compelling vision for the role of Queens Poet Laureate,” according to Katz’s office.
“Queens seeks a Poet Laureate capable of crafting thought-provoking poetry that addresses universal themes and shows an abiding affection for our diverse borough,” Katz said. “The extended application deadline will give more of our borough’s talented and creative residents the opportunity to put themselves forward as candidates for this esteemed and important position.”
Applicants must submit a one to two-page resume of their poetry-related work, a writing sample of up to ten pages of their poetry and a 500-word essay on why they want to be the next Queens Poet Laureate.
Borough President Katz will install the winning applicant as Queens Poet Laureate at a public ceremony at Queens Borough Hall. Through his or her term, the Queens Poet Laureate will promote readings at public schools, libraries, community centers and parks, as well as borough arts events.
The past Queens Poet Laureates are Maria Lisella (who served from 2015 to 2018), Paolo Javier (2010-2014), Julio Marzan (2007-2010), Ishle Yi Park (2004-2007), Hal Sirowitz (2001-2004) and Stephen Stepanchev (1997-2001).
Lisella and Javier will join Walt Whitman Award-winning poet Nicole Cooley, NYC Youth Poet Laureate Camryn Bruno, and Alice Quinn, Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts as the five-member panel of judges.
The judges together with the Queens Poet Laureate Administrative Committee will select the next Queens Poet Laureate, after choosing and interviewing three finalists from the application pool.