The poets of Brookline will have another reason to fill their inkwells and sharpen their quills, as the position of poet laureate is open in Brookline.
At last week's Board of Selectmen meeting, a unanimous vote created the Brookline Poet Laureate program, and accepted a gift to fund the program. The Brookline Commission for the Arts is now accepting applications (until March 16) for the position.
Selectman Ken Goldstein introduced the topic by reading a few stanzas of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "A Gleam of Sunshine," written after a visit with his friend Julia Ward Howe, who lived in Brookline. The poem describes the town thus:
The Past and Present here unite
Beneath Time's flowing tide,
Like footprints hidden by a brook,
But seen on either side.
Poets laureate are government-appointed poets, who write for official occasions and special events--during a deisgnated term. Brookline's poet laureate will serve for two years, and is also charged with enahncing the literary atmosphere and promoting an appreciation for the arts throughout Brookline.
"Politicians and lawyers are very much like poets," Goldstein added, "They are always looking for the perfect words."
For their work during their term, the poet is typically paid a stipend, which the Brookline Selectmen approved at $1000. This stipend comes from the sponsors of the program, Bay State Federal Savings Charitable Foundation and Century Bank.
The following is the full press release from the Brookline Commission for the Arts:
TOWN OF BROOKLINE APPROVES POET LAUREATE PROGRAM
Applications to be accepted through March 16
On January 17, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the creation of the Town of Brookline Poet Laureate Program with sponsorship provided by Bay State Federal Savings Charitable Foundation and Century Bank.
Under the direction of the Board, the Brookline Commission for the Arts is now accepting applications for the town's first Poet Laureate. Under the guidelines of the program, which will begin in April, the town will appoint a poet to a two-year term. The poet's charge will be to enhance the town's cultural life, promote awareness and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts, and connect members of the community through poetry.
The program is open to residents of Brookline who have composed a substantial body of work, including published work, and a demonstrated commitment to the community. Duties of the new Poet Laureate position will include public performances, outreach to schools and community centers, and undertaking creative and innovative projects to energize the town's residents in the spirit and power of the written word.
Applications may be made between now and March 16th, 2012. Candidates should submit a letter of interest, a current CV and a selection of representative poetry to Arts Commission administrator Gillian Jackson, at email@example.com. Residents may also inquire with Ms. Jackson for a full description of the program and the duties of the Poet Laureate.
A selection committee, composed of commissioners and citizens, will convene in early April to review applications, make a selection and submit it to the Board of Selectmen for approval. Those interested in joining this committee, please contact Ms. Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 16.
Interested poets can submit a letter of interest, their CV, and a selection of their representative works to the Arts Commission's administrator Gillian Jackson, at email@example.com.