The search is on for the 47th annual Bucks County Poet Laureate, according to Bucks County Community College Professor Ethel Rackin, director of the longest-running poet laureate program in Pennsylvania.
The contest is open to Bucks County residents over the age of 18 who have not previously served as poet laureate, said Rackin, who teaches language and literature at BCCC, where the program is based.
Each entrant must submit 10 original poems of any style or length along with an entry form to the college’s Language and Literature Department. Entries must be submitted online by Sept. 8. The winner receives a $500 honorarium, a proclamation from the Bucks County Commissioners, and will be featured at a Fall reading and reception at Bucks County Community College with the previous year’s poet laureate, Tom Mallouk.
Poetry of any kind is welcome. The entry requires 10 poems, any style, form, or length. All work must be original, published or unpublished, typewritten or word-processed, one poem per page, in black ink. The poems and entry form must be submitted online at bucks.edu/poetlaureateentry. There is no charge to enter the contest, but there is a limit of one entry per person.
Two judges will blindly select the winner. The preliminary judge will narrow the entries down to a few dozen for the final judge, who will choose the winner and three runners-up from the pool of finalists.
The 2023 final judge will be Joanna Fuhrman. Fuhrman, an assistant teaching professor in creative writing at Rutgers University, is the author of six books of poetry, most recently To a New Era.
The Bucks Poet Laureate Program is one of the oldest in the country. It also holds a High School Poet Contest every spring, yet another way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region.
Learn more at Bucks County Community College.