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Nominations for California Poet Laureate open through July 25

Nominations are open through July 25; self-nominations are accepted.

The search for California’s next poet laureate is underway. The California Arts Council is accepting nominations for the position through July 25.

Nominees will be ranked by a peer-review panel of experts in the literary field, with recommendations sent to the Governor for selection, and finally, to the Senate for confirmation. Review criteria for the position include recognition for excellence of their work; being known for a significant body of published work; and having wide consideration as a poet of stature.

The job of California’s poet laureate is fairly straightforward: to promote the art of poetry in the state, inspiring and educating through public readings and events, with a particular focus on people, namely students, who are less likely to be exposed to poetry. The poet laureate is also responsible for developing a significant cultural project during their two-year term.

And what better time to consider candidates than now, when poetry is peaking? New data from the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts shows more Americans than ever are spending time appreciating the art of poetry. Nearly 12 percent, or 28 million adults, read poetry last year, the highest on record in 15 years of the survey.

For details on the nomination process and the history of the California Poet Laureate position, visit http://arts.ca.gov/initiatives/pl.php.