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Wisconsin Poet Laureate Search Begins

April is National Poetry Month and the Poet Laureate Commission of Wisconsin is pleased to announce that the search for Wisconsin's next Poet Laureate is now officially begun. The Commission encourages all qualified poets living in Wisconsin to apply for this prestigious post. Nominations of poets may also be made, with the poet's consent. The two-year term of service will begin on January 1, 2011.

The Poet Laureate's mission is an important and lofty one—to promote poetry statewide, to serve as a herald for Wisconsin's poets and their verse, and to enrich the lives of Wisconsin's citizens by encouraging the gift of poetry.

The person who will succeed Milwaukee's Marilyn Taylor, who is Wisconsin's current Poet Laureate, must meet the following criteria: proven level of skill in writing and reading poetry, an admirable and proven history of publishing individual poems and/or books of poetry, and demonstrated excellence in promoting awareness or enjoyment of poetry in Wisconsin. The person must also be a resident of Wisconsin for at least one year prior to the June 11, 2010 application deadline, be at least 18 years of age, and be available to travel throughout the state.

For an application/nomination form and detailed guidelines, interested poets should visit the Poet Laureate Commission website, http://wipoetlaureate.wi.gov. Applicants and those wishing to nominate a poet may also submit a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Wisconsin Humanities Council, Attn: Poet Laureate Guidelines, 222 South Bedford Street, Suite F, Madison, WI 53703-3688. For more information, please contact Jane Hamblen at (608) 658-4428.