Marjorie Rommel was named poet laureate of Auburn in 2015, succeeding Dick Brugger. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

Marjorie Rommel was named poet laureate of Auburn in 2015, succeeding Dick Brugger. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

City searches for its next poet laureate

The City of Auburn has been looking since October for a poetical someone, a wordsmith extraordinaire, to step forward and be its 2018-20 poet laureate now that Marjorie Rommel’s term is up.

That is, a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment, who also encourages appreciation of poetry and literary life in Auburn.

Now, according to what Parks, Arts and Recreation Director Daryl Faber told the Auburn City Council on Monday, the City plans to ease one of its requirements by expanding its potential talent pool beyond city limits.

“What (the Auburn Arts Commission) hopes to do is extend it to north King and south Pierce counties, in addition to city limits,” Faber said.

One of the current nominees is a poet and an instructor in literary arts at a local college, Faber said, but like others interested in the position, the residency requirement has gotten in the way.

“As long as they have experience and a nexus to the city, we would have an opportunity to select them as the poet laureate,” Faber said.

The City Council created Auburn’s first honorary position of poet laureate in 2012, following up on a resident’s suggestion, and bestowed it upon Dick Brugger. By creating the position, City leaders wanted to celebrate the literary arts and the artists in the community.

The specific criteria for the appointment of the poet laureate were based on his or her involvement and commitment to the community, to literary excellence and to the continued pursuit of the craft.

During the term, each poet laureate is expected to share his or her love of poetry with the city and create occasional poems for specific civic events. Rommel’s term ran to the end of 2016.

After a review of all nominations, the Auburn Arts Commission will forward a recommendation to the mayor for final selection and appointment. The term of service for the next poet laureate will be three years, beginning in January.

Learn more online.

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