Seeking Applications for Ridgefield’s Next Poet Laureate

January 9th through February 10th:  Poet and educator Barb Jennes’ three-year tenure as the inaugural Ridgefield Poet Laureate will end in March 2023. Jennes was selected in April 2020 for this Town-appointed position which was created to “promote an appreciation for poetry for the solace, enjoyment and delight of Ridgefield residents.”

“As Ridgefield’s First Poet Laureate I would like to congratulate and thank Barb Jennes for her wonderful contributions to our Community during so many events.  Her words have awakened many to the power of poetry,” said Ridgefield’s First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

Jennes began her tenure as COVID was causing widespread shutdowns. She quickly pivoted to online events and programs that encouraged people to discover poems outdoors, such as “Haiku Hunt on Main Street,” a poetry treasure hunt for families. She has written custom poems for several local events, including the Spirit of Martin Luther King event held yearly at the Ridgefield Playhouse and led numerous workshops and organized readings at the Ridgefield Library and other venues encouraging poetry lovers and poetry skeptics alike to “Read (and Love) Poetry,” as a recent workshop was titled. At The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum she organized a series of readings by nationally recognized poets and ran multiple workshops for people of all ages. Her series of summer evening poetry readings in the beautiful gardens of Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center were certainly a highlight for everyone who attended!

During this period, Barb Jennes published many poems, winning several competitions and awards, including for her chapbook Blinded Birds, which was awarded the 2022 International Book Award for a Poetry Chapbook.

The Ridgefield Poet Laureate initiative is coordinated by the Ridgefield Library and the Ridgefield Arts Council following criteria established by the Town of Ridgefield. Selection criteria were originally crafted in consultation with the CT Coalition of Poets Laureate. Those wishing to learn more or to be considered for the position of Ridgefield’s next Poet Laureate should click here for more information and application details.  Applications will be accepted by Lucy Handley, Adult Programming Coordinator, at the Ridgefield Library between Monday, January 9 and Friday, February 10, 2023. A panel of community members and poetry advocates will then consider the submissions and send its recommendations to Ridgefield’s Board of Selectmen in time for National Poetry Month in April.

For further information email [email protected] or call 203-438-2282 ext. 120.