Finalists for First Poet Laureate: Meet the Contenders at Joliet Historic Event


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Joliet, IL – The vibrant literary scene of Joliet will reach a new milestone as six distinguished finalists vie for the title of the city’s first Poet Laureate. This pivotal event is set to take place at the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s Auditorium on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m., where finalists will share their poetic visions of Joliet.

According to the event organizers, each finalist will present two original poems, one inspired by the city itself, followed by a personal composition. They will also discuss their potential contributions to the role of Poet Laureate. The selection process will be juried, with the winner announced during the “Ye Olde Mayfest” at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park on Saturday, May 18.

The finalists include a diverse group of local talents, such as Sharon Houk, known for integrating sound into her poetic expressions, and Jaden Easton, a lifelong Joliet resident and a graduate of DePaul University with a flair for nostalgic themes. Other notable participants include John Condron, Amy Logan, Uxmar Torres, and Holly Coop, each bringing unique experiences and perspectives to the competition. This event not only celebrates Joliet’s cultural richness but also its community’s ongoing engagement with the arts.


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