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The People's
Poet Laureate

Are you the next grandmaster poet of Berks County?

A contest that honors verse:

The People's Poet Laureate competition will crown a new figurehead to represent the talent, versatility, and passion of Berks County poetry. 

The reign of the ninth and current Poet Laureate, Anthony Orozco, must come to an end. A new voice must lead us into the future of our craft, will you rise the challenge?


  • This contest is open to all poets who reside in Berks County.

  • Contestants must submit a single email containing five original written and/or recorded poems

  • Each poem should by a maximum of 2-pages long or five minutes long if recorded.

  • Only one entry per poet is allowed. 

  • Poems must be received by before midnight on March 25th. 

  • Entry emails should also include the poet's name and a contact phone number in the body of the email.

  • Works can be in English and/or Spanish.

Selection Process:

A panel of judges will review each entry and select finalists to compete in an in-person slam in April, National Poetry month.

For the slam, poems are not required to be memorized, and can be read from written materials. But the performance of the poems will be a factor in the judges' scoring, along with other criteria such as originality, imagery, and themes.


The highest scoring poet will be named The People’s Poet Laureate for 2024 and will hold the title for the next two years. The winner will also receive a handsome cash prize.

This contest recognizes two major aspects of poetry: the literary and oral traditions. For eons, verse was a passed down through generations via the spoken word, long before ever being put down on parchment or etched into tablet. 

All wordsmiths, lyricists, rappers, enchantresses, satirists, elegists, bards, melancholy pessimists, and relentless optimists are encouraged to apply.

Do I need to have been previously published?

No! We are looking for the greatest poetic mind in the county, regardless of publication history.

Do I have to be a Spokenword Poet to win?

No! But we do want the next laureate to be able to convey their artistry through live performance.

What are my responsibilities as 
Poet Laureate?

The Poet Laureate is expected, by invitation, to create original works for special occasions and to move the art of poetry forward in the County of Berks.

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