Poet Laureate of Birmingham

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The Poet Laureate of Birmingham is the holder of an unpaid honorary commission to represent the City of Birmingham through the composition, performance and promotion of poetry. The position, popularized in Great Britain in the 17th century, makes reference to the honors (laurels) granted to poets in classical Greece. Poets Laureate have in the past been called upon to mark important events with new poetic compositions. More recently those holding the position have been expected to make appearances to promote the form itself in visits to schools and libraries.

The program to recognize a Poet Laureate of Birmingham was inaugurated in 2024 by Create Birmingham, which worked with the city to provide funding, supplemented by the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Honorees qualified for a $5,000 honorarium for each year of a two-year term, plus reimbursement of qualifying expenses related to their duties. In return, honorees agreed to compose two original works on behalf of the city, to participate in at least 5 public events, and to host 3 workshops for students in Birmingham City Schools during each year.

Applicants for the honor were required to be 18 or older and to be residents of the city. The application period for the inaugural posting was August 1 through October 2, 2023. Applicants were scored by a community review panel on a six-point rubric which included ties to the Birmingham community, proven record of community engagement through poetry, experience as a poet, the quality of submitted poems, an ability to plan and execute project, and overall potential to serve the post. The panel then made a recommendation to the Mayor of Birmingham, who officially appointed the winner.

Poets Laureate

See also

  • P. David Romei, informally recognized as Poet Laureate of Birmingham in 1997


  • Watson, Nathan (December 15, 2023) "Salaam Green named City of Birmingham Poet Laureate for 2024-2025." Bham Now
  • Stuart, Shauna (January 31, 2024) "City of Birmingham swears in inaugural poet laureate." AL.com

External links