Arts & Culture News

The City of Dallas Is Looking for Its Very Own Poet Laureate

A statue of the Greek poet Sappho. You could be the next great poet, officially appointed by the city of Dallas.
A statue of the Greek poet Sappho. You could be the next great poet, officially appointed by the city of Dallas. Walter Bibbikow/Getty
This upcoming Thanksgiving, you may be able to return home victorious by finally proving your family wrong: Being a poet is absolutely a legitimate job. The city of Dallas is ready to validate teenage, emo you — spending all night angstily writing down verses to celebrate the beauty and pain in the world in your mighty marble notebook — by announcing its search for a new literary representative: For the first time ever, the city will be appointing a poet laureate.

The duties for the poet laureate, whose term lasts two years, include writing and presenting original poetry at schools and official city meetings, as well as generally promoting a love of letters and culture throughout the community.

The initiative is a joint effort between the Office of Arts and Culture, the Dallas Public Library and independent publisher Deep Vellum Books.

"The program is a reflection of the 2018 Dallas Cultural Plan," said arts and culture director Jennifer Scripps in a release. "The Dallas Poet Laureate program provides a new and important way to nurture a professional poet and bring more poetry to more parts of Dallas."

The poet laureate, who will be announced in April 2022, will receive a $20,000 honorarium and a publishing contract with Deep Vellum Books.

“There is no doubt that Dallas, is, and has always been, a literary city, and the Dallas Poet Laureate will nurture new generations of readers and writers from right here in Dallas, cementing the literary arts among the city’s proudest culture offerings,” said Deep Vellum director Will Evans in the release.

Applications are now open until Dec. 31. In completely similar news, the Dallas Observer is also looking to officially appoint music and culture writers.

Like the great poet Cardi B said: "Do whatever you have to do. People always want to tell you how to do it. No, do it your way. And don't ask for like, Oh, how can you do it ... Do it. Figure it out."
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Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio