Launched in April 2021 during National Poetry Month, the new Oakland Poet Laureate program's primary goal is to make poetry more accessible across Oakland’s seven Council Districts. Poetry has a transformative power to rebirth/reinvigorate, help situate ourselves in space and place, and assist us in future casting/visioning for more embodied ways of moving forward, together, in our amazing city.
Through their new role, the Oakland Poet Laureate will help facilitate collaborations between local creatives, cultural organizations, local businesses, and community institutions. They will help bring recognition of Oakland as a nexus of cutting-edge creativity on a national stage. The work of the Oakland Poet Laureate will advance the value of “belonging” as articulated in Oakland’s Cultural Plan, Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan. The tagline of which is “Equity is the Driving Force, Culture is the Frame, Belonging is the Goal.”
During the two-year term that starts June 2021, the Oakland Poet Laureate will deliver an inaugural address, partner with the Oakland Public Library’s Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, deliver four readings at City-owned locations throughout Oakland, and write one poem that commemorates our city. An honorarium of $5,000 will be awarded to the individual selected.
To view the press release click here.