May 21, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Applications Open for Santa Monica’s First Poet Laureate

This Honorary Role Will Encompass a Two-Year Term and an Annual Stipend of $5,000

The Santa Monica Public Library has initiated the application process for the city’s inaugural poet laureate.

This honorary role will encompass a two-year term commencing on March 1, 2024, and will be accompanied by an annual stipend of $5,000. The city’s poet laureate will be entrusted with engaging the community and fostering a shared appreciation for poetry through several key responsibilities, including:

  • Crafting an original annual poem that celebrates the City of Santa Monica.
  • Conducting two yearly writing workshops or poetry readings at a Santa Monica public school, the Library, or other community events.
  • Coordinating at least one poetry-related program annually as part of the Library’s National Poetry Month activities held in April.
  • Participating in or organizing local events.
  • Carrying out activities focused on poetry and literary arts.

The selection process for the city’s poet laureate will be executed by the Poet Laureate Review Panel, consisting of community members drawn from the Arts Commission, Library Board, Friends of the Library Board, and city staff. The poet laureate designated by this panel will be officially unveiled at the City Council meeting scheduled for February 13, 2024.

Library Director Erica Cuyugan expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “We are thrilled and look forward to working with Santa Monica’s first poet laureate. This program helps to ensure that the literary arts are celebrated and remain accessible to the Santa Monica community and its visitors. We look forward to collaborating with our future poet to weave together the many voices and experiences that make up the beautiful fabric of our community.”

This unique poet laureate initiative is open to Santa Monica residents aged 18 and above. Application submissions opened on October 30, 2023, and will conclude on December 18, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. PST. Applicants have the option to apply electronically, while paper applications are available and can be submitted at any Santa Monica Public Library location within the application period.

For further details and application guidelines, please visit santamonica.gov/programs/poet-laureate.

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