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City Commission Names Steve Kistulentz City’s Poet Laureate


At the April 1 meeting, the Safety Harbor City Commission appointed Steve Kistulentz as the City’s second poet laureate replacing the current laureate, Barbara Finkelstein whose term ended. Staff at the Safety Harbor Public Library recommended the appointment of Kistulentz after seeking public nominations and meeting eligibility requirements. His term as poet laureate is three years.

Kistulentz, a resident of Safety Harbor, is the author of the novel Panorama, published in 2018 by Little, Brown & Co. He also penned two award-winning collections of poetry, Little Black Daydream and The Luckless Age, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award. He has a BA in English from the College of William and Mary, an MA from Johns Hopkins University, an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and a PhD from the Florida State University.

Shorter works have appeared in journals including The Antioch Review, the Cincinnati Review, Crab Orchard Review, Mississippi Review, New Letters, Quarterly West, Quarter After Eight, The Southern Review, and many others. He taught at Johns Hopkins University; the University of Iowa, where he was the Joseph and Ursil Callan Scholar, and at Florida State University, where he was an Edward and Marie C. Kingsbury Fellow for Excellence in Thought. Currently, he directs the graduate creative writing program at Saint Leo University.

In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the community is invited to attend the Library’s 10th Annual Poetry Celebration, Thursday, April 25, 6:00 – 9:00 PM. A Poets’ Mingle begins at 6:00 pm, where guests are invited to relax and enjoy refreshments while listening to local musician TJ Weger. An open mic session follows at 6:30 pm with readings from local poets, featured poet Gianna Russo, and laureate Kistulentz. The Safety Harbor Public Library is located at 101 2nd Street N., Safety Harbor, FL 34695.


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