City of Oshkosh Poet Laureate 2021


Giving voice to community
The Oshkosh Poet Laureate will serve as the leading voice for poetry in the Oshkosh community promoting poetry through publication, performance, education, workshops, and digital and social media. 

The goal of the new initiative is to highlight the importance of literacy, share the values of poetry, spark creativity, and foster artistic expression.  

Poetry carries us to the frontiers of our imaginations and helps us articulate a shared vision of the future. It weaves old and new cultures together resulting in one resilient community tapestry.  

Poet Laureate for the City of Oshkosh 2021-2023

Eligibility  |  Selection CriteriaApplication  | Responsibilities & HonorariumContact  |  Schedule of Events


  • The City of Oshkosh's first poet laureate position is open to all creators who live within the boundaries of the Oshkosh Area School District.
  • Ages 18 and older may apply.
  • Applications will be accepted from April 24, 2021 at 8 a.m. to June 7, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Update: The application period has closed.
  • The announcement of the poet laureate selection will take place during the City Council meeting scheduled for
    September 14, 2021. UPDATE: Thomas Cannon has been selected to serve as the city's first Poet Laureate.
  • Apply online  or mail your materials to:


  • Promote poetry and the poet laureate position on social media.  
  • Participate in selecting the succeeding poet laureate and guide the transition into the role.  
  • Creation of one or two commemorative poems each year of the appointment
  • A required number of public readings or workshops that are free to the public.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to assuming a public role in promoting an increased awareness of poetry 
  • Guide one or two community programs/workshops 

We will select applicants based on the following:

  • Completed application form 
  • 1 page poem based on the theme: Resiliency in the face of adversity
  • 4 poetry/writing samples 
  • 1 page essay on why you want to be Oshkosh’s Poet Laureate 

Responsibilities & Honorarium

This position begins September 2021 and ends August 2023.

  • Promote the purpose and beauty of verse to a wide audience and act as an ambassador for the art form. Coordination of public activities and events will be through Oshkosh Public Library.
  • Create one original poem each year of the appointment.
  • Participate as a leader in public poetry readings and/or workshops.
  • Bring awareness to poetry and the poet laureate position on social media. 
  • Assist in selecting the succeeding poet laureate and guide the transition into the role.  
  • The poet laureate position will receive an honorarium of $2,000 per year ($4,000 for a two-year term). Payment will occur every six-months of the term beginning in September 2021 and ending in August 2023

If you have questions about the application process, please contact:

Schedule of Events
A complete schedule of events will be publicly announced following the appointment of the poet laureate.