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Applications Accepted for Tacoma Poet Laureate

Applications Now Being Accepted for Tacoma Poet Laureate Position


December 28, 2020



Tammi Bryant, Tacoma Venues & Events, tbryant@tacomavenues.org, (425) 343-2462

Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


Applications Now Being Accepted for Tacoma Poet Laureate Position


The Tacoma Arts Commission is now accepting applications for the ninth annual Tacoma Poet Laureate program. The application deadline is 11:59 PM on Monday, February 1, 2021.


Literary artists who are emerging, professional, or established artists producing poetry in any form, genre, or style are encouraged to apply. We will also consider writers who work in additional genres whose work intersects with poetry. The Poet Laureate will build community, amplify what is unique about Tacoma, and provide opportunities for people’s voices to be heard.


The individual selected as Tacoma Poet Laureate will hold the title for two years - from May 2021 to April 2023 - and receive a stipend of $4,000. The Poet Laureate will have access to an additional project budget of up to $1,000 to help implement programming. The individual will actively contribute to and advance Tacoma’s literary community in meaningful ways through readings, performances, workshops, presentations, publications and/or special projects – whether in-person or virtually; participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October; and help produce the 2023 ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate. The individual should actively strive to engage the breadth of Tacoma’s residents, expanding access to the literary arts to underserved/underrepresented audiences. The Poet Laureate is expected to determine the direction, focus, and appropriate public components for their term of service.


Eligibility extends to literary artists who live in Pierce County and are actively engaged in Tacoma’s creative community. Applicants must be 18 years or older and be an active literary artist, dedicated to producing work on a regular basis. View the full guidelines at cityoftacoma.org/artsopps.


In alignment with Tacoma City Council Resolution 40622, the Tacoma Arts Commission is committed to investing in communities most impacted by racial, social, and economic inequity and working toward justice for all. The Tacoma Poet Laureate position will be prioritized for applicants with community engagement strategies that meet one or more of the following:


Strategies that primarily give voice to:

  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)/ African, Latinx, Arab, Asian, Native- American (ALAANA) communities
  • Economically or socio-economically marginalized communities
  • LGBTQIA+ communities
  • People with disabilities
  • Racial justice and/or social justice
  • Emergent community needs related to the global pandemic

Current Tacoma Poet Laureate Abby E. Murray will curate and host a free virtual poetry event at which the winner of this year's Poet Laureate competition will be officially awarded the title.

The event date will be announced in early 2021.


The application and information about the Tacoma Poet Laureate program, which was founded in 2008 by Urban Grace Church and transitioned to the City of Tacoma’s Arts Program in 2011, are available at cityoftacoma.org/poet.