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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.

Upcoming Poetry Events


Monday, April 23. POETRY NIGHT: RACHEL MORITZ. Rachel Moritz is a poet and writer based in Minneapolis. She is the author of Borrowed Wave (Kore Press), a finalist for the National Poetry Series as well as the 2015 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. Her second collection, Sweet Velocity, won the 2015 Besmilr Brigham Women Writer’s Award from Lost Roads Press. Rachel has also published five poetry chapbooks and a middle-grade reader for children. Since 2000, she has taught writing in libraries, elementary and middle schools, senior centers, retirement communities, and college classrooms. She teaches currently with Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Minnesota, COMPAS, Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, and Poetry Barn. In January 2018, she was the poet-in-residence at Prairie Creek Community School. 

During her visit to Northfield, Rachel will lead a poetry workshop at FiftyNorth and give a public reading at Content, starting at 7pm.

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:

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, July 8, 2018

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 29: Jim Lenfestey. April 5: Andrea Een (poetry and hardanger fiddle at Northfield Public Library). April 23: Rachel Moritz (at Content Bookstore).  April 30: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs. May 7: Danez Smith. May 21: Leslie Schultz. May 31: Mary Moore Easter. 

2018-2019 Poetry Nights. October 1: Bao Phi. October 11: Nicole Borg. November-May: TBA.

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 Friday, June 1, 2018, at 5pm, at Imminent Brewing. Submissions on the theme of "Community" (broadly or narrowly interpreted) will be accepted through the month of April 2018. Please send your submission as a single document (.doc or .docx) to:

Writers Night Journals

Call for Submissions: Writers' NIght


Friday, June 1, 2018. 5-6:30pm. Imminent Brewing. 

Writers are invited to submit poetry or prose on the theme of "Community" (broadly or narrowly construed) for a reading at Imminent Brewing to kick off the  First Friday Art Nights series sponsored by the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) and the Arts and Culture Commission. Up to 750 words of prose or three pages of poetry can be submitted to: Submissions to be read at the event will be selected by a panel of judges. Please send your submission as a Word document or in the body of your email. Submission deadline: Friday, May 4, 2018.

"Stories bind...They are basic to who we are. A story has a composite personality which grows out of its community."

Terry Tempest Williams

Featured Event

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