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poet laureate

Nominations open for 2015-2017 Poet Laureate

Applications from city residents accepted through October 31, 2014

Heights Arts is accepting open nominations for the 2015-2017 Cleveland Heights Office of Poet Laureate. Initially established by Heights Arts with the approval of the City of Cleveland Heights in 2005, the purpose of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate is to celebrate and elevate the art form of creative writing for the benefit of the community’s residents. The 2015-17 Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate will serve for a 24 month period, beginning April, 2015, and concluding at the end of March, 2017. Poets must be residents of Cleveland Heights through the full two-year term of service if selected for the Office.


The Poet Laureate is selected from a pool of individuals nominated for consideration. Any resident of Cleveland Heights may nominate an individual for the Office. Poets may nominate themselves. The Heights Arts Board and its Height Writes Committee may also nominate individuals.  Nominations should be submitted electronically to Heights Arts between September 1 and October 31, 2014. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Nominated individuals will be notified and provided with the guidelines and duties of the Office by early November. If willing to serve and comply with the duties, nominees will be asked to submit the following:
• sample of work – no more than 10 pages of poetry
• documentation of background and experience in the art form, including where work has been published
• one or more ideas for a community project the applicant would conduct to bring awareness and participation in the art form to the community
• cover letter, stating why the applicant wishes to serve
• optional video of nominated poet reading his or her work, via YouTube or other electronic link


The Heights Arts Board, through its Heights Writes Committee, will review the applications and recommend up to three finalists, who will be interviewed to complete the selection process. Members of the Committee include the current Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate, any past laureates willing to serve, the Director of Cleveland Heights/University Heights Libraries, a member of City Council, Heights Arts Executive Director, and the owner of a local independent book store. The committee jury will issue an invitation to serve to the selected finalist by January 30, 2015. The seventh Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate will be announced during April, National Poetry Month.


The Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate
• will conduct a community project that has the potential for showcasing not only the applicant’s work, but the work of other writers, and include opportunities for the public to engage with the art form. This project must be approved by and be manageable within the capacities and resources of Heights Arts.
• will curate poets for the EKPHRASTACY program of Heights Arts, selecting and corresponding with area poets to organize up-to five EKPHRASTACY events a year.
• must be willing to produce and read in public, occasional poems to celebrate or commemorate key events in the life of the city.
• may undertake other community activities as mutually agreed-upon by the Laureate and Heights Arts


Heights Arts provides a modest stipend of $1,000 per year to the Laureate in compensation for services. The honorarium is paid in two installment each year; September and March, and coincides with quarterly reporting required of the Laureate.

Nomination Form

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