INTRODUCTION AND PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Poet Laureate of the City of Minneapolis is an official ambassador of the city’s literary culture, connecting our community through the art of poetry. The Poet Laureate is committed to promoting poetry and the literary arts in the city, and uplifts the city through their artform.
As an advocate for poetry in Minneapolis, the Poet Laureate engages the community in meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects. The Poet Laureate has a commitment to sharing the transformative art of poetry through educational opportunities. The Poet Laureate takes part in civic ceremonies in conjunction with the city, creating a unique literary legacy.
The inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Minneapolis will serve for a one year term, January 1, 2024-December 31, 2024. The Poet Laureate is designated by the City of Minneapolis and the Poet Laureate program is administered by the Loft Literary Center.
EXPECTATIONS & DUTIES
- Celebrate the city of Minneapolis through public service engagements, including three (3) state and/or city addresses at official Minneapolis city events
- Perform in a public event that features the sharing of poetry and conversation with community.
- Teach three (3) classes through the Loft Literary Center that promote poetry as an opportunity for connection
- Advance the artform of poetry in the city of Minneapolis as an avenue for deep engagement in our community
The Poet Laureate will receive an honorarium of $8,000 to be delivered quarterly across their year-long tenure, beginning on January 1, 2024. The Poet Laureate will receive a budget of $2,000 to plan and execute a civic duty project of their design that engages and serves the Minneapolis community through poetry. The Poet Laureate will be honored at an inaugural event, celebrating their induction on January 13, 2024 at Open Book in downtown Minneapolis.
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be an active professional poet whose work has been published, performed, reviewed, and/or honored
- Be a resident of Hennepin County for a minimum of one year
- Have a significant connection and commitment to the Minneapolis community
- See poetry as an opportunity to engage, serve, and celebrate the Minneapolis community
To be considered, all applications must include the following:
- A curriculum vitae or résumé;
- Five examples of work. These examples might include, but are not limited to, individual poems, recorded performance, or other multimedia projects. Examples of work are not required to be previously published, but do note any details of past publication as applicable.
- An artist statement no longer than 1000 words describing the poet’s commitment and approach to the artform
- A statement of civic duty no longer than 1000 words describing the poet’s plans for a project to engage and serve the Minneapolis community through poetry
All applications must be submitted via Submittable by November 15, 2023 11:59 PM CT.
The Poet Laureate will be considered based on their eligibility and the content of their application. The selection panel is made up of members of the Minneapolis Arts Commission and other arts community representatives. The panel will be selected by the city of Minneapolis and the Loft Literary Center. The panel must come to a unanimous decision to select the Poet Laureate.
In addition to fulfilling the eligibility requirements, applicants will be reviewed based on this additional criteria:
- The literary excellence of the poet’s work amidst the contemporary poetry landscape
- The community impact of the poet on other artmakers in the city of Minneapolis
- The feasibility of any proposed public engagement projects
- The wider reputation of the poet and their work
- Their works’ engagement with the city of Minneapolis
Please see the city's Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging statement to see more information about Minneapolis’s commitment to fair and just opportunities and outcomes for all people. Please see the Loft's Inclusion, Equity, and Antiracism statement to see more information about the Loft's commitment to fostering intentional community.
ADMINISTRATORS OF THE AWARD
The Minneapolis Arts Commission advises the City Council and Mayor on arts-related issues and was chartered in 1974 with the mission to strengthen the arts and enrich cultural life in Minneapolis. The Commission works closely with the staff of the Department of Community Planning & Economic Development-Planning Division, and shares their goal of developing a strong and vital arts community throughout Minneapolis.
The Loft Literary Center advances the power of writers and readers to craft and share stories, to create and celebrate connections, and to build just, life-sustaining communities. We grow writers and build community by creating literary experiences that cultivate craft and connection. We envision a world where the power of the word liberates minds, deepens relationships, and inspires movements for people and planet. As an antiracist organization, the Loft develops programs, services, and events for writers, readers, and storytellers because racism dehumanizes people, and stories reconnect us to our shared humanity. Recognizing the relationship between race, power, and resources, we prioritize the engagement of BIPOC/marginalized communities and work for the equitable distribution of our power and resources. Our core values are creativity, connection, justice, care, courage, and curiosity.
If you have questions about your application, please contact Lucia LoTempio, Program Manager at the Loft Literary Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-215-2593. Please note that we are anticipating a high volume of applications, and may not be able to update you on the status of your application until December 2023.
The Loft's Access Funds Pool is open for classes taking place in September 2023 - August 2024. The Loft's Access Fund model allows you to submit a single online application for adult class access funds. These opportunities are meant to reduce financial barriers to participation in Loft classes and are available to individuals who can provide proof of eligibility, such as participation in one or more public assistance programs.* Once accepted, available seats are emailed out as they become available, about 1-2 times a month. These email alerts will give you access to a list of classes that are currently access fund viable. If you are interested in any of these classes, you will need to call the Loft Education office at 612-379-8999 to claim your class and be given a promo code (applied during checkout) that will provide a 95% reduction in tuition for a class. The access fund recipient pays the remaining 5% cost, which will vary depending on the regular price of the class.
The Loft is committed to equity in our programming by creating opportunities for folks who face barriers to participation in artistic career development. While Loft class access funds are focused on reducing financial barriers, we want to strongly encourage individuals from historically marginalized communities to apply, including, but not limited to, Black and Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, as well as low income individuals.
Please note: these seats are offered first-come first-served, about a week to two weeks before the respective class starts. You can sign up for specific genres of classes or call out a specific class you are interested in; however, that does not guarantee a spot. Meaning, you'll have to wait for a class that matches your interests and schedule. To apply, please provide proof of eligibility that includes: 1) Your name & address 2) Public assistance program name** 3) A recent date. Then, use your mobile phone's camera, scanner, or good old snail mail to send us your documentation after, or along with your online application below.
More questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
*If you are not eligible for our access fund program but still require financial assistance, please consider our payment plan option through Sezzle to help manage the cost of class tuition. **Examples of Accepted Public Assistance Programs
- General Assistance
- Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or Minnesota Care
- SSI (Disability, Not Retirement)
- Food Stamps
- Section 8 Housing
- Free or Reduced Price School Meals