Town Poet Laureate Program Starting in Southbury

The Southbury Public Library and Sustainable Southbury have partnered to create a Town Poet Laureate program! 

Many towns and the state of Connecticut have Poet Laureate programs where candidates submit their work for review by a panel of judges and the winner represents the respective town or state, while promoting poetry and literacy. Regarding adding a Poet Laureate to Southbury, First Selectman Jeff Manville said “Art and culture are an important part of our community and a Town Poet Laureate would be a welcome addition to our community." 

Fadwa Najamy, representing Sustainable Southbury, has been working with Head Librarian Shirley Thorson and Reference Librarian Rebecca Randall to establish guidelines and recruit a panel of three judges. Sustainable Southbury is an environmental group working with the Town of Southbury to become certified sustainable through the Sustainable CT program.

The three judges for the inaugural Poet Laureate are:

  • Heather Messina, Region 15 Pomperaug High School Media Specialist
  • Colleen A. Kelly, Ph.D and published poet
  • Chris Rempfer, Associate Professor of English, Naugatuck Valley Community College

The program is open to any Southbury resident over the age of 18 and has had published work. What does a Poet Laureate do?  A Poet Laureate engages in activities that promote the public enjoyment of poetry through public poetry readings, Open Poetry readings, presenting poetry at town events and working with students on poetry writing. The Poet Laureate term is for three years, starting October 31, 2022 and ending October 30, 2025. The Library staff and Sustainable Southbury will work with the chosen poet to host events through their term.

Applications can be found on our website here. Applications are due to the Southbury Public Library by August 31, 2022. They can be dropped off at the library or mailed to us at 100 Poverty Road, Southbury CT 06488 with Attn: Shirley Thorson. 


Published by on May 02, 2022
Last Modified November 28, 2022