California Arts Council Seeks Recommendations for State Poet Laureate

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council (CAC) announced today that the nomination and application process for the next California Poet Laureate is now open.

Poets may self-nominate or be nominated by experts in the field of literature. For detailed instructions on how to apply, visit capoetlaureate.org. The submission deadline is January 28, 2022. 

“The role of the California Poet Laureate is to spread the art of poetry across the state, to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists, and to educate all Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced California creative literary expression,” said Anne Bown-Crawford, executive director of the California Arts Council.

“The Poet Laureate provides public readings in communities across California and helps to educate civic and state leaders about the value of poetry and creative expression for all,” added Bown-Crawford.

The official position of California Poet Laureate was established in 2001 by former Governor Gray Davis and is in the following California Government Code: Title 2, Div. 1, Chapter 9.5. The state’s most recent Poet Laureate was Dana Gioia, who was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. The Poet Laureate serves for a term of two years and may serve up to two terms.

The CAC manages the California Poet Laureate nomination process for the Office of Governor, in accordance with the law. The names of the top three nominees will be sent to the Governor’s office for consideration and screening. Governor Gavin Newsom will make the final selection and name the California Poet Laureate, who must be confirmed by the Senate.

After a call to the general public for nominations, applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of knowledgeable and experienced California poets. Nominees will be ranked according to the review criteria: recognition for excellence of their work; being known for a significant body of published work; having wide consideration as a poet of stature; and willingness to undertake a specific project that shall last through the term, agreed to by the California Poet Laureate and the Arts Council.

Questions about the nomination process and application information should be directed to poetlaureate@arts.ca.gov.

Media Inquiries:
Mark DeSio
Public Affairs Director
mark.desio@arts.ca.gov

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The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez, Chair; Consuelo Montoya, Vice Chair; Vicki Estrada, Jodie Evans, Stanlee Gatti, Alex Israel, and Jonathan Moscone. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit https://arts.ca.gov/about/about-us/language-communications-assistance.

Nominations for California's next Poet Laureate are now open! Learn more at www.capoetlaureate.org.

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