Saturday, January 23, 2016

Call for Nominations: Poet Laureate for City of Knoxville by April 1

The Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville invites nominations for Poet Laureate for the City of Knoxville. Knoxville has a long and rich literary heritage. George Washington Harris’s Knoxville-based tales of Sut Lovingood were an influence on Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor.

Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, wrote her first novel in Knoxville based on her experiences as an adolescent here. Pulitzer Prize winners James Agee and Cormac McCarthy both grew up in Knoxville, and the city figures prominently in their works. Poet Nikki Giovanni is a Knoxville native who attended Austin High School and has often written about her memories of the city.

The City of Knoxville Poet Laureate Program aims to extend and build on this heritage by recognizing and supporting citizen poets of exceptional talent and accomplishment.

The Poet Laureate shall serve a term of one year with an optional one-year renewal, beginning in the Summer of 2016, during which they shall serve as a public voice of Knoxville, creating city-specific works and participating in literary outreach and educational programs.

The Poet Laureate will receive an annual honorarium of $3,000; the award should be considered honorific. The City of Knoxville shall retain license to use, reproduce, and compile the work created for the City by the Poet Laureate in his/her official capacity, but the Poet shall retain all other rights to the work.

The deadline for nominations to be received is Friday, April 1, 2016.

Legal residents of the corporate limits of the city of Knoxville may nominate a poet for the Poet Laureate position. Poets may not self-nominate. Those submitting nominations must be at least 21 years old.

Nomination forms, conditions for eligibility, and instructions for submission of nominations may be obtained from the Arts & Culture Alliance's website at, or send an SASE to Liza Zenni, Arts & Culture Alliance, PO Box 2506, Knoxville, TN 37901.

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