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Northfield Poet Laureate: Home

The Northfield Poet Laureate is sponsored by the City of Northfield and funded by the Northfield Public Library and the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), in partnership with the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission.

Call for Submissions: Poetic Living Wills

How would you like to be remembered? What legacy would you like to leave behind? How do you continue to embrace life in the face of grief and loss? How do you live well while dying?

The Northfield Poet Laureate is accepting submissions of poems that address these questions—poetic “living wills”—for eventual publication online or in book form, or both. Submissions may be sent as attachments (.docx, .doc, .rtf, .pdf) to:

This project grows out of the ReConvening program presented by host Cathy Wurzer and The Convenings, an organization that honors the legacy of Dr. Bruce Kramer by engaging communities in the discussion of choices for living and dying well. 

Image credit: Christy Moe Marek, End of Life Doula

Poetry Night

Poetry Night is held each month at either the Northfield Public Library or Content Bookstore in Northfield. Poetry Nights start at 7pm. There is no Poetry Night in January, or in the summer months (June-September). 

2017-2018 Poetry Nights 

October 5, 2017: Leila Chatti (at Northfield Public Library). November 2, 2017: Anders Carlson-Wee (at Content Bookstore). December 2017: no reading (Winter Walk). February 15: "Civic Poetry" Festival at Carleton: Heid Erdrich, Matt Rasmussen, Anders Carlson-Wee, Gretchen Marquette, Michael Torres, Sun Yun Shin. March 8: Jim Lenfestey. April 5: Andrea Een (poetry and hardanger fiddle at Northfield Public Library). April 23: Rachel Moritz (at Content Bookstore).  May 2018: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs.

Previous Poetry Nights

2016-2017. Freya Manfred (October 2016). Greg Hewett (November 2016). Ken McCullough (December 2016). Richard Broderick (January 2017). Kathleen Roberts (February 2017). Youth Poetry Night: Anna Kochever, Bella Callery, Alondra Pérez, Hannah Pahs (March 2017). Riki Kölbl Nelson and Karen Herseth Wee (April 13, 2017).

2015-2016. Lost Poems of Neruda: a bilingual reading by Cecilia Cornejo and Fritz Bogott (June 2016). Leslie Schultz (May 2016). Kaethe Schwehn (April 2016). Youth Poetry Night: Alondra Pérez, Chris Lazaro, Bella Callery, Anna Kochever (March 2016). Greg Hewett and students (February 2016). Susan Jaret McKinstry (January 2016). D.E. Green (December 2015). Diane LeBlanc (November 2015). Brenda Hellen and Rob Hardy (October 2015).

Poetry Night

Writers Night

Writers Night is an occasional series of juried readings featuring authors from Northfield and the surrounding area. Writers are invited to submit work—up to 3 poems (no more than 3 pages) or up to 750 words of prose—for selection by a blind judging process. Writers whose work is selected are invited to read at the public Writers Night event. Selections from each Writers Night are included in a downloadable (.pdf) journal. From 2004 to 2007, Writers Night and the Writers Night journal were sponsored by the Northfield Arts Guild.

The next Writers Night will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 7pm, at the Northfield Public Library. Submissions will be accepted through the month of March 2017. Please send your submission as a single document (.doc or .docx) to:

Writers Night Journals


About the Northfield Poet Laureate

The position of Northfield Poet Laureate was established in 2016 by the Northfield Public Library, in collaboration with the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission. The position was funded in its initial year through a grant by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC). The Poet Laureate organizes, hosts, and provides funding for literary events in Northfield such as Poetry Night at Content Bookstore, Writers Night, and poetry workshops in the Northfield Public Schools. The Poet Laureate also writes and recites original poems for local civic events. The Poet Laureate has worked in collaboration with the Northfield Arts Guild, the Greenvale Park Community School, Content Bookstore, the Latino (and Friends) Play Festival, Northfield High School, Arcadia Charter School, and others. 

The first Northfield Poet Laureate is Rob Hardy. Rob is the author of Domestication: Collected Poems, 1996-2016 (Shipwreckt Books 2017), The Collecting Jar (Grayson Books 2005), and Aeschylus, The Oresteia: An Adaptation (Hero Now Theatre 2017). Rob's writing (poetry and prose) has appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, Rattle, New Letters, North Dakota Quarterly, and other literary and scholarly journals. His adaptation of Aeschylus's Oresteia has been staged at Carleton College and by Hero Now Theatre in Minneapolis. Rob is also a member of the Northfield School Board and a Research Associate in Classics at Carleton College, and editor of Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Selections (Dickinson College Commentaries). 



Funding for the inaugural year of the Northfield Poet Laureate program (2017) was provided by the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC). In the second year of the program (2018), the Northfield Poet Laureate is supported by funds from the Northfield Public Library and the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library. 


A grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) has provided funding for this project thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota.


Event Photos

Click the image below for the Northfield Poet Laureate 2016-2019 Photo Album