Application/Nomination Deadline: January 31, 2005
Panel Dates: TBA
The California Arts Council is designated to recommend individuals to the Governor for the position of Poet Laureate.
The role of the Poet Laureate is to spread the art of poetry and encourage literacy and learning in California. The Poet Laureate would provide a minimum of six public readings in urban and rural settings across the state and educate community, business, and state leaders about the value and importance of poetry and creative expression. Additionally, the candidate would undertake a significant cultural project that would extend through the term. One of the goals of the project must be to bring the poetic arts to students who might otherwise have little opportunity to be exposed to poetry.
The California Poet Laureate may, and is encouraged to, coordinate his or her project with any similar project being undertaken by the current United States' Poet Laureate. Any other reasonable activities as agreed to mutually by the Poet Laureate and the Arts Council. After being appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate, the Poet Laureate would serve for a term of two (2) years beginning in 2005.
How to Nominate
Poet Laureate nominations may come from qualified people in the field of Literature (poets may self-nominate) and MUST be mailed to:
California Arts Council
c/o Mr. Ray Tatar
1300 I Street, Suite 930
Sacramento, CA 95814
NOMINATIONS must contain:
1. A cover letter from the nominating organization or individual describing the qualifications of the nominating organization or individual.
2. The name and biography of the poet to be nominated (300 words maximum). A competitive biography would include a summary of significant awards and published literary works.
3. A summary of no more than a half-page indicating why the nominator considers the poet's work to be of the highest quality and representative of the State of California.
4. Complete contact information for the nominated poet.
5. Confirmation indicating that the nominator has contacted the nominated poet and that the poet has reviewed the job description and agrees to the nomination.
6. Three (3) poems by the nominated individual typed on 8 ½" x 11" paper single-sided.
Nominees must have lived in California for at least 10 years.
No materials will be returned. Nominations must be received at the Arts Council by 5:00 p.m. January 31, 2005. For clarifications (but not nominations, which must be sent to the above address), e-mail Ray Tatar at
Review Criteria
The Poet Laureate will be a poet who is recognized for excellence of his/her work, is widely considered to be a poet of stature, has a significant body of published work, and agrees to serve for a period of two years.
Review Process
Each nomination will be reviewed by the Arts Council staff for completeness. Incomplete nominations may not be considered.
The Arts Council functions with the assistance of the peer panel review system. The Poet Laureate panel will comprised of no less than three (3) representatives of the poetry community chosen from the Literature panelists and presented to the Arts Council at a scheduled public meeting for approval.
Poets, poetry presenters and literary experts will meet to discuss the merits of each nominee and how they relate to the criteria. They will create a ranked list and the panel will present the top three nominees to Governor's Office for approval.


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