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Aurora seeking a new poet laureate

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Aurora seeking a new poet laureate

Aurora is taking applications for the second poet laureate in its history.

Mayor Richard Irvin said the city will soon begin taking applications for the position on the city’s website.

The new poet laureate would replace Karen Christensen, who has held the position for four years. Irvin announced the search for the new poet laureate and Christensen stepping down at the same time at Tuesday’s City Council Committee of the Whole meeting.

Christensen, a longtime Aurora resident, was the first poet laureate in the city’s history.

“There can only be one first,” Irvin said. “It’s been an honor for us.”

Irvin presented Christensen with the Mayor’s Award of Excellence, and said she will now be considered the poet laureate emeritus.

“You will be our poet laureate forever,” he said.

There are not many poet laureates at the municipal level, Christensen noted. Another city in the area that has one is Elgin.

Christensen would often help open city-sponsored events with a poem written for the occasion. There also are several deputy poet laureates who would sometimes do that duty.

Christensen said it has been “a pleasure and an honor” to perform the artistic function, and pointed out she will be around.

“Art is the thing that unites all of us,” she said. “To create this position at the city level is quite amazing.”

slord@tribpub.com



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