City of Asylum Poet Laureate of Allegheny County

The City of Asylum Poet Laureate of Allegheny County will:

  • serve a two year term (April 2020-March 2022)
  • receive a prize of $2,500 
  • participate in readings programmed by City of Asylum in diverse venues across the county
  • develop a project to engage Allegheny County residents through poetry in collaboration with City of Asylum


  • Applicant must reside in Allegheny County
  • Applicant must have a significant history of published work
  • Applicant must have experience with civic engagement through the literary arts

Application Details

A completed application form includes:
(1) contact information
(2) resume or CV with a record of past publications and performances
(3) and one short-answer question

You may submit one unpublished poem for early consideration for the series All Pittsburghers are Poets: Poem of the Week, published online in Sampsonia Way Magazine beginning May 2020. See application for details.

Applications are closed for the 2020-2022 term.

Meet the Judge

Jill Bialosky is a poet, novelist, essayist and editor. Her newest memoir is Poetry Will Save Your Life. She is the author of four acclaimed collections of poetry, most recently The Players; three critically acclaimed novels, most recently, The Prize, and a New York Times bestselling memoir History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New YorkerThe Atlantic MonthlyHarper’sO MagazineThe Kenyon ReviewHarvard Review, and Paris Review among others. She co-edited with Helen Schulman the anthology, Wanting a Child. She is an Executive Editor and Vice President at W. W. Norton & Company. In 2014 she was honored by the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished contribution to poetry.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact

City of Asylum is grateful for support from the following partner:

This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

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