Planning Your Poet Laureate Event

Jaki Shelton Green

Would you like to invite N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green to an upcoming event, or propose a new event? The first step is to give us details about what you've got in mind. We'll be in touch soon to confirm if we're able to honor your request, or if adjustments need to be made to time, date or other details. Thank you for your interest in the N.C. Poet Laureate. We'll respond soon.

Typical poet laureate duties include making appearances at libraries and museums; literary festivals; book clubs; book stores; grade schools, high schools, and universities; writing conferences and workshops; veterans' events; and conducting interviews on television, radio and other media outlets. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green plans to focus her efforts on the creation of documentary poetry, working with North Carolina communities to explore the ways they document their unique regional histories and significant historical events.

The NC Poet Laureate program

The North Carolina Arts Council administers the poet laureate program. We collect the invitation requests and provide the poet laureate with an annual stipend which covers only a portion of her costs for materials and travel.

While the position of N.C. Poet Laureate is highly regarded, it is not a full-time job; Ms. Green does not have an office at the Arts Council. She continues to teach at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies. She lives in Mebane, and that generally is her point of departure when traveling to events.

Finding community partners

The N.C. Arts Council is committed to facilitating the Poet Laureate’s outreach to all parts of our state, and to all members of our population. To meet this goal, we ask inviting organizations to defray some of her costs, and/or align with other organizations in their communities to secure additional support and maximize the effectiveness of Ms. Green’s visit. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • It’s always a good idea to talk with your local arts council about your plans to bring the N.C. Poet Laureate to town. See our North Carolina Local Arts Councils Directory for websites and contact information.
     
  • The NC Writers’ Network’s Regional Reps can help you spread the word to writers in your area. The network also keeps a calendar of local literary events organized by county. Here you might find partner organizations or venues for your event. 
     
  • The State Library of  North Carolina maintains a searchable database of libraries across the state. Libraries can be great partners and are a natural fit with the work of the N.C. Poet Laureate.
     
  • The State Board of Education and NC Department of Public Instruction offer a downloadable Education Directory which includes a list of NC school districts and a host of other resources. Local schools may be happy to take advantage of a visit from the N.C. Poet Laureate while she is in town.

We appreciate that the size of your organization plays a big role in what support you will be able to offer. Small groups might provide gas money, or a meal; medium-sized groups might offer a stipend or overnight accommodations as needed; and large organizations such as universities may have access to greater resources which permit a larger honorarium. Partnering with other organizations in your area is the key to getting the most out of your N.C. Poet Laureate invitation.

If you would like to discuss further, please email or call N.C. Arts Council Literature and Theater Director Jeff Aguiar, jeff.aguiar@ncdcr.gov, (919) 814-6512.


Request a poet laureate appearance

:
Please include name of space, address and room number if necessary.
If yes, please explain further in description of event below.
If yes, please explain further in description of event below
If yes, please provide the address. If it is forthcoming, please email it when it becomes available.
e.g., travel, housing, meals, etc. The poet laureate typically receives a stipend for his or her service which is commensurate with the size and resources of the inviting organization.
If different than contact information above.