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WESTPORT CT: The Westport Arts Advisory Committee has announced the appointment of our second Poet Laureate for the Town of Westport.

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker has appointed Jessica Noyes McEntee for a two year term as Westport's Poet Laureate, beginning July 1.  Jessie, her husband, two teenagers and a menagerie of pets, moved to a historic house in Westport in 2013.  She is currently a Board member of the Westport Young Woman's League and Save Westport Now.

Jessie's debut poetry chapbook, Jackie O. Suffers Two Husbands and Other Poems, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019.  She's taught at Westport Writers' Workshop since 2015 and works in marketing for the Pequot Library in Southport.  Jessie cut her teeth as an editor at John Wiley & Sons after graduating from Amherst College.  She has undertaken editorial and ghostwriting projects for numerous clients.

The Poet Laureate Program will be administrated and managed by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, serving by appointment of the First Selectman.  Candidates for the Poet Laureate position were invited to submit an application and supporting materials that were reviewed by a selection committee made up of representatives from the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, the Westport Library and the Westport Arts Advisory Committee.  The role of the Town of Westport Poet Laureate is to elevate poetry in the consciousness of residents and to celebrate and continue the Town’s vibrant literary history.  

Objectives for the position include:

 

  • Promote Poetry as a form of communication, inspiration and entertainment in the life of town residents.

  • Expand and promote the community’s awareness and appreciation for poetry, spoken word, and writing in general.

  • Advocate for poetry, literature, and the arts, and contribute to the Town of Westport’s literary legacy through public readings and participation in civic events.

  • Summon a spirit of celebration, reflection and healing.

  • Utilize Westport’s natural and human resources to promote poetry in the community.


The Town of Westport Poet Laureate is an honorary, non-compensated position and shall serve a term of two years.   There are twenty-five appointed Poet Laureates in towns and cities across Connecticut and a State Poet Laureate. More info: http://ctpoetlaureates.com/currentconnecticut/

For more information about Westport’s Poet Laureate visit: https://www.westportarts.org.  Inquiries about the Poet Laureate may be made via email with the subject line POET to: waac@westportct.gov

The Westport Arts Advisory Committee was founded in 1994 and is committed to increasing public awareness of the Town of Westport's cultural resources: its artists, artworks and institutions. The committee members are appointed by the First Selectman to serve a two-year term.