Classic Catalog

All GRPL locations are currently closed. Learn about our phased reopening and GRPL To Go.

Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids

About the Program

The Poet Laureate is a celebrant and ambassador of poetry for the City of Grand Rapids, creating programs and projects to foster the writing and reading of poetry by the public. During the three year term, the Poet Laureate engages the community through three distinct projects.

The Grand Rapids Poet Laureate has a love of and commitment to poetry. They are passionate about acting as an ambassador of poetry and have a strong desire to engage Grand Rapidians of all ages and from all walks of life in projects and programs.


Applicants must demonstrate a love of and commitment to poetry. The ideal candidate is passionate about acting as an ambassador of poetry and has a strong desire to engage Grand Rapidians of all ages and from all walks of life in projects and programs. Applicants must be residents of Kent County.


The Poet Laureate selection committee will review all applicants and select a candidate in February 2020, with the term beginning in April 2020. 

  • Deadline: January 31, 2020.

To Apply

Submit the following information in PDF format to

  • Cover letter with contact information, including email and phone.
  • Resume or CV that includes publication and/or performance credits.
  • Written statement (of no more than 500 words) detailing the types of projects you would like to accomplish, and how.
  • Ten pages of original poetry (published or unpublished) as a sample of work.
  • Names and contact information of two or three individuals who can speak to how you would be successful in the role of Poet Laureate.
  • Applicants may submit links to online readings of their poetry (no more than ten minutes in total).
  • Applications due January 31, 2020.

Current Poet Laureate

Marcel “Fable” Price has been named the Poet Laureate of the greater Grand Rapids area for a three–year term starting in April 2017.

Price, also known as Fable the Poet, is a writer, teaching artist, performer, and motivational speaker. He is the author of Adrift in a Sea of M&Ms, a collection of poems that navigates through mixed race issues and mental disorders. Fable the Poet tours nationally and works extensively with youth. He is an official partner of Mental Health America and is an advocate for the importance of mental health awareness among children and teens.

Fable the Poet is known for his interactive readings and performances that leave audiences enlightened and empowered. He is a member of The Diatribe, a group of wordsmiths, rappers, hip-hop artists, poets and storytellers, that perform in Grand Rapids.

Price remarked, “I am a poet for the people, all people. I am using many of our city’s flagship events, organizations, and most premier artists to bring poetry to the masses. In my role as Poet Laureate, I will continue to do so, but aiming higher, and further than before.”


The Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids program is based at the Grand Rapids Public Library and supported with funds from: