The Town of Chapel Hill is seeking applicants for its next Poet Laureate, and is encouraging all local poets to apply. Local artist, educator and activist C.J. Suitt has held the position since its inception in 2019. According to a release from the town, Suitt is helping with the process to select future Poets Laureate.

Chapel Hill describes its Poet Laureate position as “an ambassador for poetry” who “builds connections to the poetry community and engages in activities that enhance literary arts in Chapel Hill.”

“C.J. was a perfect fit for Chapel Hill’s inaugural Poet Laureateship,” said mayor Pam Hemminger of the town’s outgoing Poet Laureate. “We are deeply grateful to him for sharing his passion and talent in that role. Through his participation he has helped shape the foundation for a successful program and we are eager to continue lifting up the voices of talented poets in our community.”

Chapel Hill poet laureate C.J. Suitt speaks to the dozens of residents gathered in protest in Hillsborough on Saturday, August 1. (Dakota Moyer/

Various responsibilities of town Poet Laureate include writing and performing original works, participating in workshops and working with future Laureates. The new Poet Laureate will be compensated $3,000 for the two-year role, which begins next January and ends in December of 2024.

Eligible poets must have active projects within the last five years, as well as a personal or professional connection to the town. Applications are open until Thursday, September 8. Interested parties may submit a resume and portfolio and are expected to answer supplemental questions about their interest.

To apply, click here.


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