CNY Arts, Inc.


Poet Laureate of Onondaga County Program


  • Nominations received – July 15, 2022, at 11:59 pm
  • Panel meets – TBD
  • Announcement made – August 1, 2022
  • Appointment made – September 1, 2022
  • Appointment terminates - December 31, 2023



Eligible Nominees

  • Must be a resident of & have a permanent address in Onondaga County for at least three (3) years and remain a resident for a two-year period;
  • Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of nomination;
  • Must be committed to bringing poetry to a wide range of places and people;
  • Must be able and available to reach Onondaga County audiences through travel or other means; and
  • Provide evidence of achievement in the art of poetry, including having a body of publicly accessible work (books, literary magazines, and/or digital media);
  • A previously nominated poet may be re-nominated or self-nominate. Poets who have held the title of Poet Laureate of Onondaga County, New York State, or other states are not eligible for consideration.

Selection Process

CNY Arts shall receive all nominations, including self-nominations, for the title of Poet Laureate and administer a panel of peers of at least five individuals. This advisory panel shall consist of the current Poet Laureate of Onondaga County (who shall advise in the appointment of their successor), and distinguished persons with expertise in the field of poetry. Panelists must be approved by the CNY Arts Board of Directors and must adhere to conflict of interest and confidentiality policies. The panel shall nominate a poet whose achievements merit them the appointment of Poet Laureate of Onondaga County.

All nominees will be notified of the selection outcome. The Poet Laureate shall be considered a civic appointment and one of distinction.


  • The Onondaga County Poet Laureate Panel will review all submitted nominations and select at least three (3) semi-finalists.
  • Each semi-finalist will be interviewed by the Panel, either in person or by video call.
  • The Panel will vote and subsequently recommend the semi-finalist with majority support.
  • CNY Arts will announce the Poet Laureate of Onondaga County to the public.


Nominations must be submitted through our online portal, Submittable. The portal can be found at Nominators are strongly recommended to review the online application form in advance. Individuals may nominate themselves.

Upon submitting a nomination through Submittable, the nominator should receive an email confirmation to the registered email address. If the nominator does not receive an email confirmation, the nomination has not been correctly submitted and the nominee cannot be considered for Poet Laureate. Please note that once a nomination form has been submitted, it cannot be further edited or changed in any way.

For further assistance, please refer to the Submittable Help Forum or contact the CNY Arts Regrants Program Staff.

Application Tips

You may save your progress on Submittable as you complete your nomination. Please be sure not to click the “Submit” button until your nomination form is complete, as you will not be allowed to make any edits. When you successfully submit your nomination, you should receive an email notification.

Nominators should submit representative samples of past works and/or the credentials of the nominated poet.

Nominees will be evaluated using the following criteria: 

  • Poet’s Body of Work (5 points): General excellence, demonstrated by submitted poetry.
  • Command of Craft & Authenticity (5 points): The poet’s command of craft and ability to write honestly and authentically.
  • Service to the Public (5 points): The poet’s experience or potential for leading, inspiring, mentoring, and representing Onondaga County and its residents, and proposal for their term as Poet Laureate.

Nominators must submit the following documents:

  • Completed nomination form (
    • Including the contact information and proof of residence of the nominee;
    • Resume of nominee, including books or other publications by the poet; and
    • Previous related awards, fellowships, and other recognitions.
  • A book or chapbook of poems
  • Five uncollected poems written after the publication of said book or chapbook; of any style, form, or length; published or unpublished; and characteristic of the poet’s work.
  • Narrative statement briefly describing nominee’s life, career, and poetry (250 words)
  • Narrative statement answering the question: “What does the nominee hope to achieve as Onondaga County’s Poet Laureate?” (250 words)
  • If the nomination form is not self-submitted, a statement verifying that the nominator has contacted the nominated poet and that the poet has reviewed the expectations of the title and agrees to the nomination.
  • Note that recommendation letters will not be considered.

The term of service for the Poet Laureate will be two years, beginning January 1 of the year following selection (with the exception of this 2022 appointment).  The Onondaga County Poet Laureate shall promote and encourage poetry within the county and shall present at least four (4) literary events and four (4) educational programs within the county each year, including at least two (2) public readings. The individual will be expected to:

  • Agree to the conditions and term of appointment;
  • Reside in Onondaga County during the length of their appointment;
  • Attend, participate, read, and/or perform works at selected appropriate events as requested by event organizers and approved by CNY Arts;
  • Participate in selected "poetry advocacy" events, during which the Poet Laureate shares the art and love of poetry with a non-traditional and/or underserved audience, with a particular focus on children;
  • Undertake a community outreach project to make poetry available and accessible to people in their everyday lives; and
  • Provide quarterly reports on activity and work as Poet Laureate to CNY Arts.


For works the Poet Laureate creates in performance of his or her duties, the Poet Laureate gives Onondaga County and CNY Arts permission to:

  • Publish and exhibit the work;
  • Include the works in various city marketing locations including, but not limited to websites, social media platforms, posters, brochures, and flyers;
  • Include the works in a possible anthology of Poet Laureate poems; and
  • Retain the works in records/archives for future reference.
  • The Poet Laureate shall retain all other rights to their work.