Alexandria Seeks Poet Laureate Plus a Poetry Contest | News Release | City of Alexandria

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Calling all Writers – City of Alexandria Searches for Poet Laureate and Alexandria’s DASHing Words in Motion Poetry Contest

For Immediate Release: December 7, 2015

The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts is in search of a Poet Laureate to promote an appreciation of poetry as an art form, promote creative writing and reading of literature, and promote literacy through poetry. The individual will serve as Poet Laureate for three years and receive a modest annual honorarium.

Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. Nominees must distinguish themselves in the field of poetry through the body of work created; be a resident of the City for a minimum of one year and maintain residency through the three-year term of service; must accept the Poet Laureate post as a ceremonial role, which includes presentations of work appropriate for all audiences; and be 18 years of age or older.  Tori Lane Kovarik, Poet Laureate, City of Alexandria’s term expires in March, 2016.  Prior to Ms. Kovarik’s appointment, Amy Young and Mary McElveen served as the City’s Poet Laureate. The City of Alexandria’s first and only Poet Laureate of record was Jean Elliott, a 78-year-old Alexandria resident. The Alexandria City Council voted Elliot as Poet in Residence and honored her by placing a plaque on her South Fairfax Street home in 1979. She passed away in 1999.

Writers are invited to also submit poetry for the “DASHing Words in Motion” poetry contest. The poetry contest encourages quality writing by writers and poets 16 years or older, who lived, worked or studied in the City of Alexandria.

The City of Alexandria Office of the Arts and the Alexandria Transit Company joined forces to host a poetry contest “DASHing Words in Motion“.  The competition’s primary goal is to encourage a broad range of ideas and subject matter.  Possible inspirational ideas might stem from the Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH buses motto “Keep Alexandria Moving,” or bus stops, neighborhoods, buses, cars, roads, or transportation.  Other modes of transportation in Alexandria and the region will also be considered.  Winning poems will be published and placed on DASH buses and trolleys for the 2016 National Poetry Month (April) and May.

The online submission deadline for both poetry opportunities is Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 10:59 p.m. Visit the Office of the Arts website to request links for the online application forms. For additional about the literary programs, email the Poet Laureate at; or call the Office of the Arts at 703.746.5588.

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