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Advisory Committee on the District of Columbia Poet Laureate



The Poet Laureate is appointed by the Mayor as an official representative of the District of Columbia and separate from similarly titled positions created by other organizations.  The Poet Laureate will help promote DC values throughout the District, and as an official representative,  shall serve as an expert and will compose and deliver works for special events and occasions.  

With Mayor Bowser's vision of pathways to the middle class and inclusive prosperity, the Poet Laureate will provide leadership and represent the field of poetry, and as an advocate for educating the residents of all eight wards of the District of Columbia.  

The Poet Laureate will work with the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia, the Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH), District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) and other agencies and organizations to promote the field of poetry.  The Mayor may request the Poet Laureate create original works at official District of Columbia events.


The Advisory Committee on the Poet Laureate

Mayor Bowser will appoint eight (8) District residents from all eight wards to advise the search process.   The Poet Laureate Review Panel will develop criteria for scoring applications, and may interview candidates and receive presentations.    Chaired by the Executive Director of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH(, the committee will make recommendations on the role of the Poet Laureate, help develop a process to recruit and nominate candidates and make recommendations to the Mayor of candidates to consider for appointment.   


The committee will include two types of members.   

A.  Community members who are District residents representing all eight wards.

  • Ward 1 member
  • Ward 2 member
  • Ward 3 member
  • Ward 4 member
  • Ward 5 member
  • Ward 6 member
  • Ward 7 member
  • Ward 8 member



  • Must be a District of Columbia resident with knowledge or interest in the field of poetry.
  • No more than 1 person per ward will be appointed.



  • May not be a candidate for appointment for Poet Laureate. 
  • May not be an employee, board member or family member of anyone employed in any agency of the District of Columbia government, or organizations listed in section B below.
  • May not be family member of any candidate nominated as the Poet Laureate.


B. Organizational/stakeholder members designated by agencies, including but not limited to:

  • The Secretary of the District of Columbia
  • The Commission on the Arts and Humanities
  • The Humanities Council of the District of Columbia
  • The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment
  • The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education
  • A University faculty member with experience in poetry


Committee members are volunteers, appointed by the Mayor, and the goal is to seat Committee members on or before November 13, 2018.

Interested in serving?  Help us find the next Poet Laureate!  To apply as a community member,  please complete this application, uploading your bio, resume and a photo.

If you have other or need additional information please call Cathy Boucree at (202) 727-1092 or



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