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What is a Poet Laureate?
A Poet Laureate is an individual who composes poems, who has the ability to express poetic ideas in beautiful language, and has been identified as having the highest degree of excellence in poetry.

The Selection Process
Three recognized poets, two of which reside in the Delaware Valley, the third, a "celebrity judge", are called upon to adjudicate and assign numeric value to the top 25 selected manuscripts. These numeric values are calculated to determine the winner in a fair and objective way.

What does the Poet Laureate do?
The Poet Laureate functions as an ambassador for poetry in Montgomery County from March 31 of the year of his/her naming to April 1st of the following year.

This role will include working with MCPL's Executive Director Joanne Leva to develop a schedule of readings, workshops and a community project.

Appearances may include the Forgotten Voices Poetry Group in Telford, The Daily Grind Café in Jenkintown, Musehouse Center and the Philadelphia Writers' Conference (both in Philadelphia).

The Poet Laureate will be asked to attend the Annual Event (both the year that he or she is named, as well as the following year to discuss the experience).

He or she may also hold the office of "writer-in residence" at Indian Valley Arts Foundation. There is also the potential to work as a member of the Tekpoet Talent team and join the MCPL Advisory board after the PL's tenure.

Details on the Community Project for the Application:
As mentioned above, one of the most important elements of the Poet Laureate's tenure is the service project, which is developed with Executive Director Joanne Leva. This should be some sort of community project that serves the Montgomery County community in your role as an ambassador. Please note that past projects have often been sustained as permanent additions to the MCPL program roster.

Please describe, briefly, any ideas you have for your community project below. This portion of your application will NOT be shared with the celebrity judge, and it has no bearing on the evaluation of the quality of your writing. Having this information early on, however, will allow the MCPL board to plan funding for the support and scale of your project only.

If you do not have any specific ideas at this time, it is also fine to leave this portion of your application blank.

Download/Print the pdf Entry Form

Purpose: To recognize and promote excellence in poetry

Eligibility: ALL MONTGOMERY COUNTY (PA) RESIDENTS - 18 years and older

Entry Rules: Ten (10) poems; no more, no fewer. Any style, form, or length. All work to be original, published or unpublished, typewritten or word processed, one side only. DO NOT PLACE NAME OR ADDRESS ON POETRY PAGES. Attach Entry Form with paper clip to packet of poems (no staples please!). List titles of poems, your name, address, and phone number on opposite side of this page. If return of manuscript is desired, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage. *Please do not send certified mail.

Deadline: Poems must be mailed to: MCPL Poet Laureate Competition, PO Box 441, Hatfield PA 19440. Manuscript must be post-marked NO LATER than Monday, February 4, 2019.

Reader's Fee: $25.00 Please make your check payable to: The Indian Valley Arts Foundation.
In the memo, please write "Poet Laureate". ** We accept additional donations to support the continued growth of the MCPL program.

Notification: Winner will be notified by Friday, March 29, 2019. Please note all entries will be judged anonymously.

Awards: $500 Honorarium to the winner and a formal awards presentation by the 2019 Celebrity Judge (Dilruba Ahmed) at Rosemont College on Saturday, April 6th 2019.

Judges: Three recognized poets, two of which reside in the Delaware Valley (Robbin Farr and Ryan Torres), The third, a community-based "Celebrity Judge", Dilruba Ahmed.


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Chad Frame
Autumn Konopka
David Escobar-Martin
Kristina Moriconi
Glenn McLaughlin
Liz Chang
Amy Small-McKinney
Grant Clauser
Doris Ferleger
Elizabeth Rivers
David Simpson
Deborah Fries
Sean Webb
Teresa Mendez-Quigley
Nicole Greaves
Jon Volkmer
Deidra Greenleaf Allan
Margaret Almon
Yolanda Wisher



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