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Monday, April 26, 2021

Shall I compare thee to a SoDo day? Orlando seeks new poet laureate

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 4:22 PM

  • Photo courtesy City of Orlando

If you're looking to write work that's in conversation with several, seemingly never-opening Portillo's, the city of Orlando might have the job for you. Mayor Buddy Dyer announced on April 26 that the city is seeking its second-ever poet laureate.

The position has been held since 2017 by local English instructor Susan Lilley. The inaugural laureate was an obvious choice, with her deep connection to the area and love of spreading appreciation for writing. The UCF grad taught writing and lit classes at Trinity Prep as well as Rollins College.

“I am so grateful that the city of Orlando sees how valuable creative writing is in the constellation of the arts in Central Florida,” Lilley told Rollins360 at the time. “This program is just starting, and as the first poet laureate, I hope to set the tone by bringing opportunities for writing to different local populations, from students to older citizens with stories to tell.”

Lilley shaped the program in her years as the city's official writer and now the city hopes to hand it off to another storyteller.

“Orlando is a young, vibrant, inclusive City with many important stories to tell, and the Poet Laureate will continue to serve as our official storyteller," Mayor Dyer said in a press release. "The arts and poetry are important parts of our cultural fabric in Orlando. Our poet laureate creates and expands our literary engagement with our residents and our community.”

The city is accepting applications from now through June 18. The winner will be shared in October. Interested applicants can take a look at the guidelines here.  

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