Durango, CO: Starting in 2024, Durango will have a Poet Laureate position for the first time in its history. The program is funded by the City of Durango's Lodgers Tax Arts and Culture Fund and administered by 501c3 organization Friends of the Durango Public Library. The program is set to create a vibrant platform for local poets to share their unique voices while engaging with the community at large.
Applications for the program are now being accepted from La Plata County residents until October 16. The program offers two positions: the Adult Poet Laureate and the Youth Poet Laureate. The Adult Poet Laureate will receive an annual stipend of $2,000 for a three-year term, while the Youth Poet Laureate will receive a $500 annual stipend for a three year term. This initiative not only recognizes the exceptional talent of local poets but also reinforces the importance of literary arts in building a flourishing creative economy.
The Durango Poet Laureate Program is founded on a mission to promote the essence of poetic expression and weave it into the fabric of everyday life. As the designated representatives of the poetic arts, the Poet Laureates will play a pivotal role in bringing poetry to the forefront of the community's consciousness. Through public recitations of their original compositions, participation in various events and community gatherings, and the creation of poems that resonate with Durango's distinct history and contemporary spirit, the Poet Laureates will leave an indelible mark on the town's cultural landscape.
One of the central aims of the Durango Poet Laureate Program is to make poetry accessible to all. The Poet Laureates will play an active role in this endeavor by conducting speaking engagements and contributing to public installations of their verses in diverse spaces, such as buses, local newspapers, and more. These efforts will ensure that the magic of poetry permeates throughout the community, inspiring and enchanting people from all walks of life.
The selection process for the Poet Laureates will be overseen by the Poet Laureate Committee, led by Gail Lovell from the Friends of the Durango Public Library and Daisy Grice from the Durango Public Library. "We are so excited to expand access to all the great poetry that is being created here, and to compensate our local poets for their hard work," said Lovell. The committee is also actively seeking one or two additional volunteer members to contribute to the administration of the program, further reflecting the community-driven nature of the initiative.
As the deadline for applications approaches, the Durango Poet Laureate Program stands as a testament to the town's commitment to nurturing artistic expression and fostering cultural connections. With the support of the City of Durango and Friends of the Durango Public Library, this pioneering program is poised to breathe new life into the town's literary landscape and inspire generations to come.
For more information about the Durango Poet Laureate Program, application details, and committee involvement, please visit https://www.durangogov.org/1728/Durango-Poet-Laureate-Program
About the Durango Poet Laureate Program
The Durango Poet Laureate shall act as representative of the poetic arts through recitation of original poetry and attendance at various events and community gatherings, creation of poetry that reflects our unique past and present, and furthering Durango’s creative economy through active engagement with the community.”
About Friends of the Durango Public Library
Friends of the Durango Public Library is a 501c3 organization dedicated to supporting the Durango Public Library and enhancing its role within the community. By advocating for library resources, hosting events, and fostering literary engagement, Friends of the Durango Public Library contributes to the vibrant cultural tapestry of the region.
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Durango Poet Laureate Committee Co Chair