Nominations open for Rockford Poet Laureate 2023-2024

The city of Rockford named its first Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate in 2021.
The city of Rockford named its first Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate in 2021.(wifr)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:46 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rockford Area Arts Council in partnership with the Rockford Public Library are now accepting nominations for the city’s honorary positions of Poet Laureate and Youth Poet for the upcoming

Poets Laureate advocate literacy and promote literature among residents of all ages. The Arts Council and the Rockford Public Library develop programming, and complimentary resources, to provide the recipient with opportunities to promote their work, host workshops for residents and appear at important events.

Nominees must be a resident of Rockford for at least one year, 18-years-old for Poet Laureate and ages 13 through 17 for Youth Poet. Individuals must have demonstrated a commitment to poetry and have significant publication history.

“Poetry is a unique art form: it can speak to love, loss, growth, and struggle. As an art form, it is accessible to everyone in a variety of forms—spoken word, slam, rap, songwriting, and traditional formats. The Arts Council is delighted to continue its work with the Library and the City in the development of this celebrated role,” said RAAC executive director Mary McNamara Bernsten.

The official honor of Poet Laureate is awarded for two years and partially funded by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.

Christine Swanberg is the current, and inaugural, Rockford Poet Laureate and Giulyana Gamero is the city’s second Youth Poet.