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Nevada seeking poets for laureate position

Art takes many forms, including the written and the verbal, and those with a passion for language, for the rhythm and rhyme of words, for the cadence of speech, often seek to express that passion in the form of poetry.

For individuals with a talent for creating and reciting verse, and the desire to share their enthusiasm for poetry, the Nevada governor’s office offers a unique opportunity, the chance to become the Silver State’s official Nevada Poet Laureate. Applications for the position are now open and prospective poet laureates have until Friday, April 23 to apply.

“The Nevada Arts Council is accepting applications for the role of poet laureate, whose mission is to propagate the art of poetry and encourage literacy,” a news release from the organization read.

The Nevada Arts Council, a part of the Nevada Division of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, assists the Nevada governor’s office in the selection process, overseeing the applications, determining which applicants are qualified and then forwarding those applications to the governor for final review and appointment. The Nevada poet laureate is a two-year-term position, with the term running from May 2021 to May 2023.

“Poetry enhances and provides context to our humanity, and the Nevada poet laureate will help expand the art form throughout the state,” Nevada Arts Council Executive Director Tony Manfredi stated. “We encourage Nevada poets to apply.”

There are several eligibility requirements that must be met, including that the applicant be a Nevada resident who is at least 21 years old and is not enrolled as a degree-seeking student. A strong body of work is also necessary, and applicants should be prepared to submit examples of their published works and/or their history of presenting their works in public.

Applications will need to provide a legible photo of their valid Nevada driver’s license or ID, a brief biography and resume and three letters of recommendation. The application also includes narrative questions to be responded to, and supporting documentation.

Once selected, public outreach is a key part of the role, with the poet laureate expected to take part in at least two in-person or online readings every three months. These readings are intended to target, “… a variety of cultural communities and geographic areas of the state…” as detailed on the Nevada Arts Council’s website. Examples of events that the Nevada poet laureate will take part in include the Nevada governor’ inauguration, Nevada Arts Council conference, Governors Global Tourism Summit and the Nevada State Poetry Out Loud finals, with various other events to be scheduled as determined. “Laureates are encouraged to gather requests for participation in events and consider them in cooperation with the Nevada Arts Council on a bi-monthly basis when setting their schedule,” the website details.

In addition to public outreach, the Nevada poet laureate will also be required to undertake a significant cultural project during their two-year term, “…such as bringing poetry to people or to a region of the state that might otherwise be underserved in this regard,” the arts council’s website explains. “The poet laureate will engage a variety of constituencies, enriching the lives of residents by sharing and promoting poetry through public appearances, readings, workshops, and digital and social media.”

The Nevada poet laureate will not be entirely on their own in pursuing the cultural project portion of their position, however, with the Nevada Arts Council to assist in determining the scope and budget of the project following appointment. To help fund the cost of travel for public engagement, as well as the two-year project, the position comes with a $5,000 Artists Project Grant each year.

For more information or to submit an application visit www.NVArtsCouncil.org

Questions regarding the position can be emailed to Nevada Arts Council Artist Services Specialist Stephen Reid at sreid@nevadaculture.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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