City Arts Commission Selects Jon Davis as Fourth Poet Laureate

Editor | - July 12, 2012

"Davis will serve as Poet Laureate through June 2014, making public performances and presenting educational seminars"

From a City of Santa Fe Arts Commission media release.

The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission is pleased to announce the selection of Jon Davis as the city’s fourth Poet Laureate.  Established in 2005, the Poet Laureate is an honorary position that is both ceremonial and educational, with the goal of promoting the presence of poetry in the city. 

Davis will serve as Poet Laureate through June 2014, making public performances marking important civic occasions as well as presenting educational seminars for teachers and the public.  Davis was selected from a field of outstanding local poets nominated by members of the poetry community and the community at large.  He is a 21-year resident of Santa Fe and a professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is the author of six books and his poems have also appeared in numerous anthologies.

“In a town full of terrific poets, it’s an honor to be selected and to join the lineage of the poets who have preceded me—Arthur Sze, Valerie Martinez, and Joan Logghe,”Davis said. “I hope to live up to the high standards they’ve set for promoting the art of poetry and serving the community of Santa Fe.”

Davis is the author of three chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry, "Preliminary Report "(Copper Canyon Press, 2010); "Scrimmage of Appetite" (University of Akron Press, 1995), for which he was honored with a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry; and "Dangerous Amusements" (Ontario Review Press, 1987), for which he received a G.E. Younger Writers Award and the Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Davis has also received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Lannan Residency, and a fellowship to The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

In addition to poetry, he has written and published short stories, reviews, essays, and parodies. Davis has served as Writing Program Coordinator for the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, edited the literary journals CutBank, Shank- painter and Countermeasures: A Magazine of Poetry & Ideas, and taught at the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe University of Art & Design, and Salisbury University in Maryland. He is currently chair of the Creative Writing Department at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he has taught since 1990.

Through the Poet Laureate program, the city wishes to enhance the presence of the literary arts in Santa Fe and create a focal point for their expression. The program raises awareness of the power of poetry and the spoken word while celebrating the spirit and unique culture of the city and its people. A key component of the program is the promotion of interdisciplinary collaboration through the literary arts.  The Poet Laureate receives an annual honorarium of up to $5,000.