Montgomery County Poets Laureate
The Annual Montgomery Poet Laureate Competition is the foundation upon which the MCPL Program was built. The competition is the ultimate expression of the program’s mission; creating an
ever expanding community of poets, supporting their work and providing opportunities for poets to elevate their visibility while also benefiting the community with their service project, many of which continue long beyond their tenure.
How does the competition work?
Each year MCPL recruits a celebrity poet with a national reputation, who along with two additional local Delaware Valley poets, adjudicate the submitted manuscripts.
The newly selected Montgomery County Poet Laureate is honored with an award in the amount of $500 along with a personalized statement about their work, which is shared through MCPL and other local organizations.
The Award is presented during the LitLife event at Rosemont College in Bryn Mawr. The winner will be given an opportunity to read their work and speak to the audience composed of attendees of the day’s event which also features workshops and poetry readings including a Poetry Workshop conducted by the Celebrity Judge of the competition.
Who can compete?
Poets of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to submit their poetry for review and adjudication in the annual competition. Poets must also be residents of Montgomery County. The window for submissions generally opens in early December and closes mid-February with the winner to be announced at the end of March.
The role of the Poet Laureate
The Poet Laureate functions as an ambassador for poetry in Montgomery County from April 1 of the year of his/her naming to March 31st of the following year. This role includes working with MCPL’s Executive Director, Joanne Leva, to develop a schedule of readings, workshops
Appearances may include the Forgotten Voices Poetry Group, Farley’s Bookshop First Thursday Poetry Reading Series, the Philadelphia Poetry Festival and the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. The Poet Laureate is asked to attend LitLife (both the year they are named, as well as the following year to discuss the experience). They may also hold the office of “
Poet Laureate 2013
Glenn McLaughlin studied chemistry, education, running and dishwashing, but not writing or poetry, at Bucknell University. After nearly thirty years of laboring in the chemical and plastics industries, he was fortunate to lose his job and begin a journey that has lead him, finally, to where he should have been all along, a high school classroom. He currently teaches chemistry and physics at Methacton High School. While not formally trained in poetry, he has published two collections of poems, Something Catches (2006) and Forms of Lectio (2008), the latter a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in Poetry in 2009. Several of his poems have been published in the Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Mad Poets Review, Forward and Big Bridge. Volumes of poems and essays, The Land I Am Given / Oops and Observing Changes in Enthalpy were published in 2011 and 2013. Additional honors include two Spring-Ford High School Senior Impact Awards (a student nominated award for teachers who students believe make a difference) and election to the Bucknell Athletic Hall of Fame. He lives in Pottstown with his wife, Susan, and is an easy drive away from his two daughters and four granddaughters.