Minneapolis Poet Laureate

Heid E. Erdrich
Heid E. Erdrich Named Minneapolis Poet Laureate

The City of Minneapolis’ Arts & Cultural Affairs Department and The Loft Literary Center are proud to announce the appointment of Heid E. Erdrich as the first-ever city Poet Laureate, marking a significant milestone in the city’s cultural and literary landscape.

Read the full press release at the link below. 

Minneapolis Poet Laureate

The City of Minneapolis’ Arts & Cultural Affairs Department and The Loft Literary Center are partnering on the first-ever City of Minneapolis Poet Laureate Program.

The inaugural City of Minneapolis Poet Laureate will be an official ambassador of the city’s literary culture, connecting our community through the art of poetry. As an advocate for poetry in Minneapolis, the Poet Laureate will engage the community in meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects. The goal is to share the transformative art of poetry through community and educational opportunities. The Poet Laureate also takes part in civic ceremonies in conjunction with the city, creating a unique literary legacy.

The inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Minneapolis will serve for a one year term, January 1, 2024-December 31, 2024

The deadline to apply for 2024 was November 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. If you completed an application, please note that we are anticipating a high volume of applications, and may not be able to update you on the status of your application until December 2023. We expect to announce the first Poet Laureate in December. 

Specifics About the Poet Laureate

The Poet Laureate will have a number of responsibilities during their tenure, including: 

  • Celebrating the City of Minneapolis through public service engagements, including three addresses at official City events.
  • Leading a public event that features the sharing of poetry and community conservation.
  • Teaching three classes through the Loft Literary Center that promote poetry as an opportunity for connection.
  • Advancing the artform of poetry in the City of Minneapolis as an avenue for deep engagement in our community. 

The Poet Laureate will receive an honorarium of $8,000 to be delivered quarterly across their year-long tenure, beginning on January 1, 2024. The Poet Laureate will receive a budget of $2,000 to plan and execute a civic duty project of their design that engages and serves the Minneapolis community through poetry. 

In addition, the Poet Laureate may be eligible to apply for the prestigious Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships—$50,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents. 

Eligibility and Selection

The Laureate will be selected by a panel of five judges through an open application process administered by the Loft. In order to be eligible to apply, applicants must: 

  • Have the ability to complete the mandated expectations and duties over the course of the one year term
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be an active professional poet whose work has been published, performed, reviewed, and/or honored
  • Be a resident of Hennepin County for a minimum of one year
  • Have a significant connection and commitment to the Minneapolis community
  • See poetry as an opportunity to engage, serve, and celebrate the Minneapolis community
  • Must not be a board member or a full- or part-time employee of The Loft Literary Center

The Poet Laureate will be considered based on their eligibility and the content of their application. The selection panel is made up of members of the Minneapolis Arts Commission and other arts community representatives. The panel will be selected by the city of Minneapolis and The Loft Literary Center. The panel must come to a unanimous decision to select the Poet Laureate.

In addition to fulfilling the eligibility requirements, applicants will be reviewed based on this additional criteria:

  • The literary excellence of the poet’s work amidst the contemporary poetry landscape
  • The community impact of the poet on other artmakers in the city of Minneapolis
  • The feasibility of any proposed public engagement projects
  • The wider reputation of the poet and their work
  • Their works’ engagement with the city of Minneapolis