Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships

The Academy of American Poets has a long history of championing the role of poet laureate that includes being a resource listing local laureates and providing information to communities interested in creating new poets laureate positions.

In 2019, we expanded this work, and our prizes and fellowships for poets, by launching the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships. The 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are $50,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities. 

The fellowship award is unrestricted; however, in addition to the other eligibility and application criteria, the concept, scope, components, depth, and geographic reach of the proposed project, as well as the number of individuals to be served, will inform the recommended award made by a panel of award-winning poets and leaders in poetry and civic engagement.

The 2021 panelists included former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Kimberly Blaeser; Arts for Justice Fellow Mahogany L. Browne; former US Poet Laureate Robert Hass; Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna; National Student Poets Founder Olivia Morgan; and Academy of American Poets Chancellor Emeritus and former Poet Laureate of Connecticut Marilyn Nelson. The panel was co-chaired by Nicie Panetta, former Board chair of the Academy of American Poets; and Jennifer Benka, president and executive director of the Academy of American Poets. Final award decisions will be approved and finalized by members of the Academy of American Poets Board of Directors.

The fellowships were established in partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read more about the 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows and the 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows and their civic projects. 

Submissions for the 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships were accepted from December 17, 2020 until February 23, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

eligibility & guidelines

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