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Dutchess County Poet Laureate


Program Overview:
Dutchess County established the Dutchess County Poet Laureate in 2016 to honor local outstanding poets, integrate poetry into the community, enrich the education of our young people, and enhance the County’s position as a cultural center in the Mid-Hudson region. Robert Kelly served as the first Dutchess County Poet Laureate and Poet Gold Wilkerson served in both 2017 and 2018. We are now welcoming new nominations for 2019.

  • Appointment is for a one-year term, allowing for one additional consecutive one-year term based on the availability of the poet.
  • This position is an honorary appointment without salary.
  • The Poet Laureate will have a webpage on the AMH website with a live link on the Dutchess County Government website.

The Poet Laureate should shape the position in his/her own way, duties typically include public activities with schools, community groups, and the press during the year and contact with writers and readers by mail, email and/or through a website. The duties will include:

  • Presentations of his/her poetry at the State of the County Address in 2019, usually scheduled in the first quarter of the year.
  • Presentations at other appropriate public events, such as National Poetry Month in April.
  • Advocacy of poetry in the community, including, but not limited to, bringing poetry to school children, projects or programs that promote the appreciation of poetry, or poetry workshops with underserved populations in the community.

Nominations may come from individuals or organizations within or outside Dutchess County. Poets may self nominate.

Nominees for the Dutchess County Poet Laureate must:

  • Reside in Dutchess County for at least two years.
  • Be a published author with a body of high quality work.
  • Be comfortable in the performance of poetry in public.
  • Be interested in presenting a sense of the community through poetry.
  • Be willing to advocate and educate people about poetry.

Review Process:
All nominees for the Dutchess County Poet Laureate will be reviewed by a selection panel consisting of published poetry writers, community members, Dutchess County Library representative, Arts Mid-Hudson staff, and a representative appointed by the Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature and a representative appointed by the Dutchess County Executive. Using the criteria listed above, the panel will make a recommendation for official approval by the Dutchess County Executive.

Deadline to apply is January 2, 2019

Click here to nominate

AMH welcomes all questions regarding this program and application. For more information on this program, please call Grants & Programs Manager, Lilia Perez at 845-454-3222 or email: [email protected]



Bettina “Gold” Wilkerson


Press Release

Gold’s Facebook Page

Poet Gold’s Instagram



2016 Dutchess County Poet Laureate

Robert Kelly



Robert Kelly’s Website

2016 State of the County Address