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Plymouth officials looking for poet laureate ahead of Mayflower 400th anniversary events

Spectators on the State Pier in Plymouth watch a departure the Mayflower II in 2016.
Spectators on the State Pier in Plymouth watch a departure the Mayflower II in 2016. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Plymouth officials are looking for a poet to represent the town during its Mayflower anniversary events, officials said.

The town will host a number of events next year to mark the 400th anniversary of the English ship Mayflower landing in Plymouth, town officials said in a statement. The Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation will pay the poet laureate $2,500 over the two-year commitment.

“The role of the Plymouth Poet Laureate is to elevate poetry in the consciousness of Plymouth residents and to promote the community’s values, history, people, and cultural traditions through literary arts,” the town said. “The Poet Laureate is encouraged to actively propose and lead community projects that strengthen the program’s purpose.”


The poet will read an original piece or someone else’s published poem at town events marking July Fourth, Thanksgiving, and the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing, town officials said. The laureate will also help with poetry events at the Plymouth Public Library.

Europeans arrived in a land that had been controlled and settled for centuries by Native Americans. In the Pilgrims’ case, the land where they arrived was occupied by the Wampanoag tribe.

Current-day Wampanoag tribe members will participate in the Mayflower anniversary events next year, said Stephen Cole, the executive director of the economic development foundation. Officials said they welcomed Wampanoag members’ perspectives, which could include a member being poet laureate, and encouraged them to apply.

Interested poets can drop off or mail an application to the library at 132 South St., town officials said. Applications are due Dec. 15, and the winner will be chosen March 11.

Alyssa Lukpat can be reached at alyssa.lukpat@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLukpat.