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The City of Galena is looking to add a poet laureate to its literary endeavors

Thought Catalog - unsplash.com

A northern Illinois city is jumping on the bandwagon by filling a literary gap.

In 2019, the City of Aurora did it, next was the City of Rockford and now Galena will have its first ever poet laureate.
Larissa Distler is an adult services librarian at the Galena Public Library. The city has hosted a literary festival for 10 years. She said during last year’s celebration, an interesting concept came to her.

“I had the pleasure of working with Angela Trudell Vasquez, the poet laureate of the City of Madison,” Distler explained. “And her and I kind of got talking and I thought, 'why doesn't Galena have a poet laureate? That seems like a perfect fit, since we have a very artistic creative community here.'”

She said with the support of the library’s director and board, a plan was put into place. The new poet laureate will have the opportunity to make the position what they want it to be.

“But we do require a few things,” Distler added. “They'll have to work with organizations that are a part of our selection committee. So, they'll do programming with the school district, the library, the City of Galena, and also the Galena Center for the Arts.”

Those organizations that Distler mentioned are all partnering to make the program possible.

The poet laurate must be a Galena resident and at least 25 years old. Distler said the plan is to place a youth poet laureate in 2026 and that cutoff age would be 24. This is the reason the poet laureate must be older. Distler said this new literary leader will also need to create a project that will last past their term.

The application is open through Feb. 28. Those interested can apply at the library’swebsite.

Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.