Prince William County Poet Laureate Nomination Guidelines

The Prince William County Arts Council hereby announces its search for the next Prince William County Poet Laureate. Nominations for this position are due by June 23, 2018. Self-nominations and nominations from others are accepted. Only one nomination per person is accepted.


The Prince William County Poet Laureate 2018-2020 serves to promote an awareness of poetry and heighten appreciation of the art form. The selected candidate will forge a meaningful connection between poetry and the community by participating in public gatherings, initiating engaging dialogue with residents, and undertake a project or series of projects which makes poetry more available and accessible to people in their everyday lives.

This position is to be filled by a resident poet of the Greater Prince William area, which includes Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park who has contributed to local poetry scene, written poetry of merit, and who advocates arts, sciences, and community collaborative efforts. The candidate should be comfortable giving public presentations and engaging in public interactions.


  • Bring recognition to the history and tradition of poetry, celebrate present contributions, and support advancement of the literary arts for the Greater Prince William area and its residents.
  • Inspire and encourage others in an understanding and sharing of poetry and other personal creative expressions.
  • Promote poetry and other literary endeavors through the media and collaborations with the schools, cultural organizations, and community institutions.
  • Represent the Prince William County area in the wider regional creative arts community.
  • Create new literary work which is grounded in the creative arts culture of the Prince William area.
  • Contribute to the Prince William Arts Council Web Site and its monthly Newsletter.
  • Participate in the Poet Laureate Circle activities and public readings.
  • Participate in PWC Arts Council events including Arts Alive and Seefeldt Awards.
  • Participate in the Prince William Poet Laureate Day programs, officially named by Prince William County, and celebrated on the Sunday prior to Columbus Day.
  • Create and present at least one outreach or educational project that connects literary arts with the Greater Prince William community.
  • Help to develop school initiatives, i.e. student workshops and/or presentations at Prince William County Schools and college campuses in the Greater Prince William area.


Nominations will undergo review by a panel of judges, these judges form the Poet Laureate Selection Panel. After a competitive nomination process, final recommendation(s) of the Poet Laureate Selection Panel are presented to The Prince William Arts Council for position appointment beginning July 1, 2018.


The filled position selected for this Laureate program will serve a two-year term that follows the Prince William County fiscal year. Upon completion of the two-year team, reappointment can be considered for no more than one additional consecutive year. The Prince William County Poet Laureate will receive an honorarium of $500.00 per year.


The candidate must have lived in the area for at least two previous years and must maintain residence in the Prince William County area during the full two-year term.

Candidates must be eighteen years of age or older.


  • Complete nomination form. Include the signature of the nominee and also the signature of the nominator if the nominee is not self-nominated. The candidate must be at least 18 years of age.
  • A description of no more than one page (on 8 1/2- by 11 inch paper single-spaced) detailing how the nominee would contribute as Prince William County Poet Laureate based on the position description and objectives of the program.

    Examples of Ways the Nominee May Choose to Contribute, present a:
    • Program that combines poetry with the sciences, other writing genres or the visual or performing arts.
    • Series of poetry workshops or school or senior center poetry programs.
    • Promotion of poetry in public places, such as transportation hubs, grocery stores, parks and public gatherings.
    • Local area-themed poetry anthology or chapbook.
  • Nominee's literary resume. List any awards, publications, teaching positions and similar achievements.
  • Nominator's statement of support for the candidate (not applicable if nominee is self-nominated).
  • Up to three letters or statements of support for the nominee from individuals or organizations in the Greater Prince William County community (nominator statement if applicable serves as one form of support).
  • Poetry samples. These can be published or unpublished. All work submitted must be original and on no more than five typed pages with one poem per page. Poems can be formatted as desired.


The nominee's name should not be on the description or the poetry samples. Please use a cover page with the candidate's full name.

Nomination submission material should be collated into one packet containing the following documents in this order:

  1. A completed nomination form on top (located on following page)
  2. Followed by the nominator's statement if the nominee is not self-nominate
  3. The nominee's one-page description of proposed activities
  4. Nominee's literary resume
  5. Up to three additional letters or statements of support
  6. No more than five typed pages of poetry samples

Mail or email the packet to the address provided on the form.

2016-2018 Poet Laureate

Kathy Smaltz named Prince William County Poet Laureate for 2016-2018.

As Prince William Poet Laureate, Smaltz will bring poetry and writing to the community by encouraging rising poets and leading poetry workshops for people in all walks of life. Smaltz envisions 'empowerment' as the theme of her tenure and will assist community members to create and celebrate poetry. Smaltz is a Language Arts Teacher and Gifted Education Teacher at The Nokesville School. She has also taught at Brentsville District High School, Potomac Senior High School, Bull Run Middle School, and was an adjunct professor at NVCC and George Mason University. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from George Mason University and her English from William and Mary. She has won an award for her poetry from the Virginia Press Association, was the Virginia Council of Creative Arts Resident, and a fellowship recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Council. Smaltz is also a member of Write by the Rails, The Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, and has taught summer sessions for the Northern Virginia Writing Project.

Smaltz was crowned Poet Laureate at SummerFest a community music festival co-sponsored by The Prince William Arts Council and the Clearbrook Foundation. The event was held on June 18th, 2016 at the Tackett’s Mill Center in Lake Ridge, VA.

All nominees for the honor were inducted into the Poetry Circle, a poetry alumni group that gathers together to share literary talents and serve the greater poetry community.

Photos: Kathy Smaltz, 2016-2018 Poet Laureate:

2017 Poet Laureates Photos - 12017 Poet Laureates Photos - 2