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Fri October 2, 2009
North Carolina's Next Top Poet
By Laurin Penland
Wilmington, NC – If you're a poet and you know it, maybe you could be North Carolina's next Poet Laureate. The Arts Council is calling North Carolina the creative state, and says the Poet Laureate plays an important role as an ambassador for the arts.
In the past Poet Laureate was a lifetime post. Poet Laureates nowadays are given a renewable two year term and are expected to wear out the soles of their shoes by traveling and speaking across the state.
Philip Gerard, the chairman of the selection committee, says the evolving position of poet laureate has changed with the image of the state.
"The North Carolina Arts Council has a huge initiative to make North Carolina known for its artistic accomplishments and cultural life. We're no longer about tobacco and mills. We're a very different state than we were maybe ten of twenty years ago."
Gerard says they're looking for a first rate poet, who has a deep understanding of North Carolina's culture, and who can inspire writers and artists.
Gerard says the next Poet Laureate will have the opportunity to create a long term project that will shape the direction of North Carolina Arts.
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