The City of Lynn To Name a Poet Laureate

By Nicole McClain

As a Lynn City Councilor, educator, and resident who understands that the arts strengthen community bonds, create meaningful community connections, and educate us about the world we live in. I am happy to announce that my advocacy to name a Poet Laureate for the City of Lynn is moving forward with the support of Mayor Nicholson’s office. 

This initiative was well received by Council President Walsh and Mayor Nicholson. Lynn is a city full of creative minds. Our city is bursting at the seams with the work of musicians, dancers, artisans, and of course poets. Celebrating and giving a voice to our creative community is a priority of my platform and I believe Lynn’s official poet laureate will inspire our residents with edifying words at city events. Our Poet Laureate will be an ambassador, creating spaces for self expression, promoting literacy, and the written word. 

During the council meeting on the 9th of April, there was discussion around what a Poet Laureate is. To give the community some clarity, the poet serving in this role is an ambassador of the art form, literature, literacy, and storytelling. Not one councilor was in opposition. Naming a Poet Laureate for the City of Lynn passed unanimously. A committee will be formed to decide the length of term that will be served, duties, qualifications, and future plans for this position. I am very proud of this initiative. It is still National Poetry Month and what a way to celebrate!

The Council Order  follows: 

ORDERED that pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53A, the City of Lynn hereby accepts a monetary gift in the amount of five hundred ($500.00) dollars from, John Andrews owner of Creative Collective, LLC for the purposes of paying a stipend to the newly created position as official Poet Laureate of the City of Lynn.

Further ordered that the Comptroller’s Office is hereby authorized to establish a revolving fund in order to effectuate the purpose of said gift.  The gift is sufficient to pay a stipend for year one only. 

There are no promises of future stipends absent an appropriation. 

Further Ordered that His Honor the Mayor is hereby authorized to execute all documents necessary to effectuate the purpose of this gift and to bind the City of Lynn to said purpose.

 Further Ordered that there shall be a Selection Committee established to make recommendations for the Mayor for appointment of the City of Lynn’s Poet Laureate.

The committee will  consist of the City’s Arts and Cultural Planner, a member of the Lynn City Council, a representative of the Lynn Public Library, a representative of the Lynn Cultural Council and a representative of the Lynn Public Art’s Commission.

A huge thank you to John Andrews, owner of Creative Collective MA.

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