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Poet Populist Seattle » How It Works

How It Works

  • Nomination: Local arts organizations nominate a candidate for the office of Poet Populist through a formal nomination process.
  • Campaign: The organization and the candidates themselves campaign. The Poet Populist website features poem and information about all the candidates and their nominating organizations. Program organizers host public readings in venues around the city, including the Seattle Public Library and Richard Hugo House.
  • Election: The general public of the city votes online. One vote per valid email address is allowed, (verified through a proprietary technology). Write-in votes are allowed.
  • Winner: Four finalists are invited to read at a reading at the Richard Hugo House, where the winner is announced and awarded a cash prize of $500. The winner is encouraged to pursue a program of public appearances throughout the coming year and is commissioned to write a poem for the people of the city.
  • Inauguration: In January, the current Poet Populist will pass the torch to the new office-holder at a reading at the Seattle Public Library. The reading will feature selected past Poets Populist and a reading of the outgoing Poet Populist’s commissioned work.
  • During the next year: The Poet Populist reads at diverse venues in order to promote articulate leadership and visionary art. Seattle’s Poet Populist has been invited to read at bookstores, colleges, businesses and at opening ceremonies for new public and private developments.

Who Is Eligible

  • Poets: Must be Seattle residents. Past Poets Populist are not eligible.
  • Nominating Organizations: Must be Qualified Arts Organizations, defined as organizations or programs of organizations, which promote the literary arts or provide resources for literary artists in Seattle. This activity need not be the exclusive activity of the organization.