Julia Baird opens up the role and responsibilities of Poet Laureates in this article from philly.com
She writes, "Surely poet laureates should be seen as public poets, should be paid more, should live in Washington, and be asked to write poems about our world, now. It might seem whimsical to suggest that poems matter when walls of water drown cities, when gut-wrenching tumult afflicts the Middle East, and when one in four American children depends on food stamps - but isn't the point of poetry to help us make sense of all this upheaval? To take emotions we fumble to describe, and bake them as cakes? To say what we can't or won't, and to force us to remember what matters?"
I'm wondering if this applies to local laureates, too, be they official (Cleveland Heights, Lakewood, etc.) or unofficial. What roles do we, as poets, play in this century? How can we say what others can't or won't that means something to Cleveland, and how can we force the city to remember what matters?