The Southbury Public Library and Sustainable Southbury have partnered to create a Town Poet Laureate program. Many towns and the state of Connecticut have Poet Laureate programs where candidates submit their work for review by a panel of judges and the winner represents the respective town or state, while promoting poetry and literacy. First Selectman Jeff Manville, “Art and culture are an important part of our community and a Town Poet Laureate would be a welcome addition to our community”.
Fadwa Najamy, representing Sustainable Southbury, has been working with Head Librarian Shirley Thorson and Reference Librarian Rebecca Randall to establish guidelines and recruit a panel of three judges. Sustainable Southbury is an environmental group working with the Town of Southbury to become certified sustainable through the Sustainable CT program.
The three judges for the first Poet Laureate are: Heather Messina, Region 15 Media Specialist, Colleen A. Kelly Ph.D and published poet, and Chris Rempfer, Associate Professor of English, Naugatuck Valley Community College.
The program is open to any Southbury resident over the age of 18 and has had published work. What does a Poet Laureate do? A Poet Laureate engages in activities that promote the public enjoyment of poetry through public poetry readings, Open Poetry readings, presenting poetry at town events and working with students on poetry writing. The Poet Laureate term is for three years, starting October 31, 2022 and ending October 30, 2025. The Library staff and Sustainable Southbury will work with the chosen poet to host events through their term.
Applications can be found on the Southbury Public Library website (www.southburylibrary.org). Applications are due to the Southbury Public Library by August 31, 2022, which can be mailed or dropped off at 100 Poverty Road, Southbury Ct 06488 Attn: Shirley Thorson.