The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting nominations for Kentucky Poet Laureate. The next poet laureate will serve for two years starting in 2017, succeeding current Kentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon, who has served since 2015.

The state poet laureate is appointed biennially by the Governor to promote the literary arts in Kentucky through readings and public presentations at meetings, seminars, conferences and events, including Kentucky Writers’ Day.

The arts council coordinates the nomination and selection process for recommendation to the Governor.

“Kentucky Poet Laureate is the most distinguished state honor given to Kentucky writers,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. “Kentucky has a strong literary community, and we encourage individuals and organizations to take part in the nomination process.”

Writers accomplished in any of the recognized literary forms, including poetry, fiction, biography, creative nonfiction, playwriting, etc., who are Kentucky residents with a long association with the Commonwealth qualify for nomination.

Guidelines and nomination forms are online at the arts council website. Nominations will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 30, and may be made by an individual or organization in Kentucky or elsewhere.

Past Kentucky poets laureate appointed by governors are Frank X Walker (2013-14), Maureen Morehead (2011-12), Gurney Norman (2009-10), Sena Jeter Naslund (2005-06), Joe Survant (2003-04), the late James Baker Hall (2001-02), Richard Taylor (1999-2000), the late Jane Gentry Vance (2007-08), the late Joy Bale Boone (1997-98) and the late James Still (1995-96).

The next poet laureate will be inducted at the 2017 Kentucky Writers’ Day, April 24 in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arts council is celebrating 50 years of service in 2016.

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