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New London Poet Laureate Application

The City of New London is looking for a Poet Laureate to promote the appreciation of creative expression through literary arts in our city. Click here for more details.

The honorary position of the City of New London Poet Laureate was established in 2016 by a resolution of the City Council. As the City’s representative poet, the Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador for poetry by promoting and encouraging the appreciation of creative expression through poetry and literary arts activities. The Poet Laureate writes and shares their work in public appearances, digital media, workshops, and inspires the community to find and share their own creative voices. The Mayor appoints a resident as the City Poet Laureate based on the recommendation of the Selection Committee.

Note: The application process to become New London’s second Poet Laureate has been extended to February 28th. Please read about the changes below.

Apply for this position by downloading and submitting the application below:

2021 Poet Laureate Application
2021 Poet Laureate Program Guidelines
New London Poet Laureate Ordinance



Applications announced: the first December City Council Meeting – December 7th ,2020
Application Deadline: Closes at 4:00 PM Friday, February 28th
Selection Committee Review & Interviews: From February 6th to March 9th
Award Notification: on or before March 19th , 2021
Official Appointment: First Council meeting in April: National Poetry Month – April 5th
New London Poet Laureate Term: Monday, April 5, 2021 to Monday, April 1, 2024


  • Is able to design and implement a strategy to engage the community in ways that nurture creative expression, increase literacy, build self-confidence in communication and expose the power and beauty of language through poetry.
  •  Possesses skills in public speaking, presentation and interaction with audiences.
  •  Will write and distribute poems through print and/or electronic media during term served.
  • Will collaborate with New London Public Schools on an event or program.
  • Will participate in the Public Library of New London’s annual poetry event and other programs.
  • Will present original work at the mayoral and council swearing in ceremonies.
  • In addition to the above, will provide at least two (2) public appearances in New London each year of the three (3) year term. May include but not limited to, open mic performances, poetry slams, poetry reading events, radio or television appearances and participation at community organizations’ events.
  • Will engage youth in the work of the Laureate and explore possibilities of Junior Poet Laureates.


  • One three (3) year term with an annual stipend of $300 as part of a grant contract.
  • The City reserves the right to revoke the tenure of the Poet Laureate if he or she fails to fulfill his/her duties and/or moves out of New London.


  • Must be full-time New London residents.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age on or before the application deadline date.
  • A poet who has applied before may re-apply. A new application must be submitted.
  • Have access to reliable transportation, either public or private.
  • Previous New London Poet Laureates and Selection Committee members and their immediate families are not eligible to apply.


Applications and requested materials must be submitted to NLPoetLaureate@newlondonct.org AND stetteh@newlondonct.org

Applicants must provide the following:

  • Up to 600 words of narrative: expressing your interest and commitment to this role; noting past poetry activities; and explaining how you would engage the community. (8 ½” x 11” with Times New Roman 12 point font)
  • Resume – list published works, public readings, awards, honors or other recognition. Include links to website(s), YouTube and/or Vimeo files, etc.
  • Two (2) letters in support of your application.
  • A work sample that may not exceed 15 continuously numbered pages (8 ½” x 11” and no smaller than 12 point type). Please provide copyright information where appropriate.


A City Council appointed panel of literary professionals and community members form the New London Poet Laureate Selection Committee and will review eligible submissions.

The selection criteria are:

  • Excellence of the poet’s work.
  • Compelling narrative.
  • Commitment to fostering appreciation and participation in poetry, including among youth.
  • An oral presentation of original work and interview, as invited.
  • New London Poet Laureate Selection Committee reserves the right to request further information from applicants and/or review publicly accessible information, articles, etc. about the applicants as a way to conduct a thorough and thoughtful review process. The New London Poet Laureate Selection Committee’s recommendation is then submitted to the Mayor for review, final approval and appointment.


  • The City Council of the City of New London shall appoint a Poet Laureate Selection Committee consisting of five (5) members, who shall be residents of the city.
  • Said members shall serve without compensation and may not be employees of the City.
  • All five (5) members shall be appointed to serve three-year terms.
  • Appointees shall continue to serve after expiration of their terms until their successors are appointed and take office. Appointees may be reappointed for successive terms.
  • The Selection Committee shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from its own number.
  • The Office of Economic Development & Planning (ODP) will provide technical assistance to the Selection Committee and the Poet Laurate Program, to include but not limited to the following:
  • Convene and notice Selection Committee meetings
  • Take and post minutes
  • Produce and promote the call for poets (requests for applications)
  • Receive and confirm qualified submissions for the Selection Committee’s consideration
  • Coordinate interviews with applicants as requested
  • Request items for the Council agenda as appropriate


  • Library to act as fiduciary for Poet Laurate stipends
  • Library staff to produce a finance report to the Selection Committee
  • Library staff to communicate to ODP any issues or situations that prevent the Poet Laurate from fulfilling expectations. For example; moving out of New London, miss appearances, etc.
  • Library staff will provide technical assistance and support to the appointed Poet Laurate, to include but not limited to the following:
  • Approve the Poet Laureate’s strategy to engage the community
  • Communication, support and guidance for accountability with fulfilling expectations
  • Coordinate the library’s annual poetry event
  • Approve release of annual stipend fund
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