Calling All Poets

My guest blogger this week is my assistant Megan Thomson Connor. Megan is a gifted writer and arts administrator who has taken the lead on managing and promoting ArtsWestchester’s new Poet Laureate initiative, in partnership with Westchester County government. Her dedication in supporting our creatives and her reverence for both the written and the spoken word make her truly exceptional in my mind.”- Janet Langsam

​When we are reeling with uncertainty personally and culturally, it is hard to express ourselves. Where is the Hallmark card for pandemic ennui or election stress?

​Fear not. There is still the tried and true medicine that we have turned to for millennia in times of inner or outer turmoil. That medicine is the sweet elixir of poetry.

What is more therapeutic than turning to a poem at a funeral, song lyrics during a heartbreak, the line of a slam poem that resonates with you so strongly, you find yourself calling out from the audience in an amen?

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all.” – Emily Dickinson

​For me, hope is the arts. It is what keeps chirping even when it doesn’t know the next line. This is why, in the face of all the unknown before us, ArtsWestchester has teamed up with Westchester County to elect an inaugural Westchester County Poet Laureate. Westchester has so much literary talent. There is the Westchester’s Hudson Valley Writers Center, the Katonah Poetry Series, the Poetry Caravan, the Yonkers Writing Group, The Westchester Review, open mic nights, poetry slams, you name it.

The Open Call for applications for the 2021-2022 Poet Laureate is now active, with a deadline of November 16, 2020 at 11:59pm.

What are you waiting for? You are the “thing with feathers.” Apply today.​