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RVA Poet Laureate: Our Community in Verse

RVA Poet Laureate

The City of Richmond will soon have its own Poet Laureate. Mayor Levar Stoney recently signed a proclamation to highlight gifted artists in the city and use literary arts to provide emotional support to local residents in an unprecedented time.

The RVA Poet Laureate’s main duties will be to promote poetry throughout Richmond and to connect the medium to communities less familiar with it. The artist who is chosen will be free to develop their own projects and will serve as a literary leader who reflects their love of poetry to RVA citizens and visitors. The successful candidate will receive a $4,000 honorarium to support their work.

The concept of a Poet Laureate for Richmond came about when RVA’s Human Service employees noticed an increase in residents seeking financial and emotional support due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They felt this uniquely challenging time presented an opportunity to simultaneously support artists and lift spirits.

“Richmond should always embrace the arts as an accessible way to provide hope and encouragement,” said Human Service Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Reggie Gordon. “The Poet Laureate will give us another opportunity to use the power of words to heal wounds, open hearts and minds, and weave us closer together.”

The City of Richmond is accepting applications for the role through November 5, with a two-year term set to begin January 1, 2021. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have been a resident of Richmond or surrounding counties for the last five years. Lack of traditional publication credentials should not dissuade interested applicants. 

Interested applicants can visit the RVA Poet Laureate program website for more information about duties and eligibility, as well as to apply online.