Arts & Culture

Piedmont Laureate: Every day you’ll write the book

Poet Jaki Shelton Green, pictured in 1996, was the first North Carolina Piedmont Laureate in 2009. Applications are being accepted to become the 10th since the program began.
Poet Jaki Shelton Green, pictured in 1996, was the first North Carolina Piedmont Laureate in 2009. Applications are being accepted to become the 10th since the program began. News & Observer file photo

The Piedmont Laureate program is seeking a novelist to hold the position for 2018.

And in a writerly world where paying gigs aren’t easy to come by, it’s one that involves actual compensation: a stipend of $6,000 a year.

The Piedmont Laureate, co-sponsored by various area arts groups, is charged with promoting and advocating the literary arts, with responsibilities that include conducting readings, workshops, online activities and other events.

Next year’s Piedmont Laureate will be the 10th since the program began, following past luminaries such as North Carolina Literary Hall of Famer Jaki Shelton Green and author Scott Huler.

Poet Mimi Herman has held the post for 2017, and the one-year term is an experience she highly recommends.

“This year I’ve had the opportunity to live poetry across the Piedmont as ambassador and explorer, reader, writer and listener,” Herman said by email. “It’s been a year of collaboration and discovery for me. I always believed the people of our region were wonderful wordsmiths, and now I know it to be true.”

The Piedmont Laureate will be selected by a committee. Each year, the position is open to a rotation of different types of writers: poetry, novels, plays and the like. This year is the novelist. It is open to residents in Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 22. For details on the application process, go to piedmontlaureate.org.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

  Comments