The search has begun to find Queens’ fifth Poet Laureate.
“Here in Queens, we are blessed to have an enormous number of talented poets,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “We are looking for someone who, like our four previous Poet Laureates, has a unique ability to inspired Queens residents of all ages and cultural backgrounds, who will promote a love of poetry among young and old, and who will actively engage our multi-ethnic communities in the art of poetry reading and writing for the next three years.”
The three-year term as Queens Poet Laureate, which was started in 1997, is an honorary position. The borough’s other Poet Laureates have been Stephen Stepanchev, Hal Sirowitz and Ishle Yi Park. The position is currently held by Julio Marzan.
Those interested in applying for Poet Laureate must have lived in the borough for at least the last three years and have “a significant publication record.” Along with being willing to make the three-year commitment, the individual must also be able to participate in a minimum of one annual event that the Queens Borough President’s Office sponsors.
According to a press release, “The judges want to know if applicants have published poetry collections; been included in recognized journals, anthologies, recorded spoken word presentations, and online poetry web sites; participated in poetry readings; and can articulate their vision for outreach to the Queens community.”
Potential Poet Laureates will have to send their poetry, including pieces related to Queens, a cover letter, bio and resume.
For more details on the application process, visit the Borough President’s web site, www.queensbp.org. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, April 14.
The Queens Poet Laureate Administrative Committee will make recommendations to Marshall, who will then make the appointment, which will be announced during a June ceremony.
Queens College President James Muyskens said that “in the great borough of Queens with its voice from all over the world, our challenge will not be to find a poet laureate, but to choose only one.”