Comes now from that center of arts and letters known as the Arlington County government: “Where art thou, first official poet of the County?”
The county workers, those civil servants with soaring rhapsodies in their hearts, are on the prowl for someone willing to write at least two poems per year, advocate for the literary arts, do public readings and help judge the annual “Moving Words” poetry competition.
That’s a lot of work for a $1,500 honorarium.
Oh, and because this is a government, there are guidelines: “Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, reside in Arlington and have established at least a five-year record of achievement in writing and publishing verse. Full eligibility requirements and terms are available online.
Plenty of other cities and counties have poet laureates, including D.C., Takoma Park, and Prince William County. Alexandria even has an official town crier. None, however, have won the Pulitzer — yet.
As Arlington seeks its own suburban bard, perhaps they would do well to look to nature, along the county’s many bike trails, where a versifier may be inspired to compose odes to the multitudinous multi-family housing units, its bar-crawling dudes in brown sandals, its 100-year-old civic associations and the tragedy of the Orange Line at rush hour.
Just a warning: If you are thinking of rap poetry, Remy did it first.