Poet Stuart Kestenbaum, pictured with Gov. Janet Mills in January 2020
Poet Stuart Kestenbaum, pictured with Gov. Janet Mills in January 2020
The Maine Arts Commission seeks applications in its process to select a new Maine poet laureate for a five-year term. To be considered, poets must be full-time Maine residents and have a distinguished body of poetic work. Applicants must submit up to five poems totaling no more than 10 pages, as well as a one-page statement outlining their vision for their public role as poet laureate and a copy of their resume, no later than June 1.

Maine’s poet laureate position is an appointment designed to promote poetry throughout the state while honoring a Maine poet whose work can inspire an understanding and appreciation of the craft of poetry.

Current Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum completes his term this year. Kestenbaum, a resident of Deer Isle, has used his position to share poetry in many different mediums, including his Poems from Here collaboration with Maine Public Radio, which features a new Maine poem each week. He is the author of five collections of poems, most recently “How to Start Over,” and is also the author of the essay collection “The View from Here.”

The specific laureate duties are minimal to ensure incumbents have maximum freedom to work on their own projects during their tenure. While the position does not include a stipend, all expenses are paid for appearances and programs, which include an annual lecture and reading of the poet’s own poetry; participation in the Maine Arts Commission’s administration of the national Poetry Out Loud project; and appearances and events to broaden appreciation and understanding of, and participation in, poetry in Maine communities.

Visit tinyurl.com/kyscdf2v to view the application form.

For more information, visit mainearts.com. With questions, email David Greenham, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission, at david.greenham@maine.gov.