St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed announces next term for the St. Louis Poet Laureate and has appointed restarted Cheryl D.S. Walker — a member of the inaugural Missouri Poet Laureate selection committee — to chair the taskforce.
“It’s exciting to have been asked to lead such a talented team to select our next Poet Laureate. The Task Force worked hard to develop submission guidelines and a selection process that will yield a candidate that our region will be excited about and proud of,” said Walker.
Members of the third St. Louis Poet Laureate Taskforce include Jill McGuire, Maria Balogh, Dwight Bitikofer, Amy Hunter, Rudy Nickens, Stef Russell and 2018 high school graduate and current St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate, Zack Lesmeister. “It’s essential that the next generation has a say [because] we are the future of the literary community and deserve representation,” said Lesmeister.
Poets 21 years and older can apply to become the next St. Louis Poet Laureate by submitting samples of their work, a biographical sketch and a resume. Other required documents include a narrative that states why the applicant should be considered, what he or she hopes to accomplish during the two years as the Saint Louis Poet Laureate, and a theme to be explored during the initial year of service and ideas for any special projects related to the position.
The St. Louis Poet Laureate submission process opens June 18, 2018 and closes July 20, 2018. The task force will begin reviewing applicants for the balance of the summer and put forth recommendation prior to the fall session of the Board of Alderman. The full criteria for the nomination process are available at stlouis-mo.gov/poet.