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Knoxville Poet Laureate

Poet Laureate Selection Process

The selection process will be as follows:

Composition of the Selection Committee

The Selection Committee should be comprised of residents of the City of Knoxville and consist of five (5) members.  Citizens of the city may apply to serve on the Selection Committee.  Members serve a two-year term. The Selection Committee will make every effort to represent diversity in gender, age, race, class and culture. 

For example, the Selection Committee may include:
• Poets who have experience with the written word or spoken word, youth poets included;
• A member of a local arts organization;
• A member of a community organization or business not related to poetry;
• A person currently working as a teacher in a school, university, or community setting.

Work of the Selection Committee

The Selection Committee will review all nominees select up to three finalists. The committee will adhere to the following timeline and three-step process of selection:

1) The Selection Committee will receive complete applications the second week of December and will review all applications and other relevant background materials. 
2) The Selection Committee will meet during the first week of February to discuss reviewed applications and select no more than three finalists.
3) The Selection Committee will contact finalists and set up times during the second and third weeks of February to interview each finalist, after which they will make their final selection of the Poet Laureate and submit their final recommendation to the City Mayor for approval. After approval by the City Mayor, all candidates will be notified of the outcome.

(This timeline will be shifted by several months for the selection of the first Poet Laureate, in 2016. Nominees are due by April 1, 2016, with the appointment to be made by summer.)

Once selected by the City Mayor, the Poet Laureate shall be congratulated by motion of the Knoxville City Council. In the event that a Poet Laureate cannot complete his/her two-year term, the Selection Committee will reconvene to name a replacement.