Spokane Arts creates and promotes arts and culture in our region through grantmaking, arts programming, advocacy, and professional development. We work to amplify Spokane as the cultural hub of the Inland Northwest. Spokane Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is overseen by a governing board (formerly known as the Spokane Arts Fund board) as well as advised by the Spokane Arts Commission, a volunteer board of artists and arts advocates. Find more information at www.spokanearts.org.

Thank you for your interest in Poetry at the Podium

This initiative from Spokane Poet Laureate Mark Anderson and Spokane Arts will give local poets the opportunity to make their voices heard at Spokane City Council meetings. All poets living within Spokane city boundaries are welcome to apply to read. This opportunity will both offer Spokane poets a new audience within the Spokane community, and remind council meeting attendees that poetry can play an important part in the civic realm. 

Interested poets should submit a single poem via the Submittable portal below, which they will agree to read at a Council meeting if selected.

Spokane City Council meetings take place every Monday evening at 6 PM. Readings will occur during the time for “Words of Inspiration” which immediately follows the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each meeting.

Per City Council Meeting Rules for public decorum, submitters are asked to remember the following:

  • The chosen poem may take no more than three (3) minutes to read, and poets are asked to state no more than their name and Spokane neighborhood before reading.
  • No poet may read more than once per month.
  • Poets shall not use profanity, engage in obscene speech, or make personal comment or verbal insults about any individual. 

City Council also asks that poets remember that many audience members at Council meetings are children (Boys and Girls Scouts, etc.) and try to keep the content of their reading appropriate for all ages.

Besides this request to honor Council meeting rules and considerations, poets should not feel themselves under any restrictions concerning the content of their work. Spokane Arts respects every citizen's right to free speech and will not engage in censorship of poems submitted for this initiative. Poets are reminded, however, that Council meetings are broadcast on television, which means that the content of their work comes under the Federal Communications Commission's rules regarding obscene, indecent, and profane content: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/obscene-indecent-and-profane-broadcasts.

After filling out the form below, please submit a single poem in .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. Please also include your name, address, phone number, email address, and Spokane neighborhood in the heading of the poem. Please do not submit another poem until you have received a response on the first.

Poetry at the Podium will offer reading opportunities to 30+ poets per year. During each year, preference will be given to submissions from readers who have not yet read at a Council meeting that year.

After a poem is accepted for Poetry at the Podium, the poet will be contacted by Spokane Arts with an agreement detailing the specific parameters of the reading.

Questions? Contact Spokane Arts (artshelper@spokanearts.org).

Spokane Arts