City Starts Search for New Poet Laureate

Santafe.com - March 30, 2012

"The Poet Laureate represents Santa Fe for a two-year term with public appearances and a community educational outreach initiative"

The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission is now looking to nominate the new Poet Laureate of Santa Fe. The Poet Laureate is a prestigious position in which one selected poet represents Santa Fe for a two-year term by making public appearances and undertaking an educational outreach initiative for the community. 

The duties of the Poet Laureate fall into three categories. The first is ceremonial, which requires the Poet Laureate to make at least four public appearances at city sponsored events per year. Poems presented at these events are encouraged to be original and appropriate to the occasion.

The second is educational, in which the poet will propose an educational project during the nomination process. Project ideas might include, but are not limited to, curation of a series of poetry readings with a unique focus, coordination of a cross-discipline exhibit in the Community Gallery, and arts education program(s) in collaboration with other programs, such as ArtWorks.

Lastly, the Poet Laureate must provide a written reflection at the end of his or her two-year term.  This may be presented in prose or poetry and will serve as an historical record of the Poet Laureate’s tenure.

With an annual honorarium of up to $5,000, the objectives of the Poet Laureate program include enhancing the literary arts presence in Santa Fe, creating a focal point for the expression of Santa Fe’s culture through the literary arts, contributing to the continued growth of the individual Poet Laureate, raising awareness of the power of poetry and the spoken word, celebrating the spirit of the people and special qualities of our city, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration through the literary arts, creating a unique program that will become a model for other cities and building a body of work that commemorates the life of our city.

To be eligible to be nominated, the Poet Laureate must be over 21 years of age and have been a resident of Santa Fe County for at least five years, or have been employed in Santa Fe County for at least five years, with a history of significant involvement in and commitment to the community.  The Poet Laureate must be capable of fulfilling duties and public appearances specified in his or her contract. The selected poet will be required to enter into a City of Santa Fe Professional Services Agreement (available upon request), abide by the Code of Conduct (available upon request) and obtain New Mexico CRS and City of Santa Fe Business Registration numbers. Additionally, the Poet Laureate may be required to obtain liability insurance, depending on the nature of the educational project.

A panel consisting of a Santa Fe arts commissioner and up to four other members will review nominations and select a Poet Laureate based on quality of poetry, language and oral facility, suitability of the work for civic celebration, literary recognition as evidenced by publications, grants, fellowships, academic and/or nonacademic awards, engagement in past projects that involve poetry, and other experiences related to the tradition of poetry.

A poet should be nominated by a community member in order to be considered. If you’d like to nominate a local poet please include in the nomination packet:

1) A nomination letter stating the poet’s qualifications and why he/she should be considered; the nominator’s name, address, phone number and e-mail; and the poet’s name, address, phone number and e-mail;

2) Letter of interest from poet including: a description of his/her interest in the position and a proposal, with budget, for his/her educational project;

3) Poet’s resume/CV;

4) Three to five poems by the poet.  (Note: If the poet writes in a language other than English, the original poetry and an English translation should be submitted. Poems may be submitted using distinctive paper and/or printing method, but must be legible and have the ability to be photocopied without damage.)

5) An oral/video presentation of up to five minutes. Presentations must be submitted on a CD or DVD only, labeled with the poet’s name and selected tracks.  All tracks must be edited to begin at the portion of the sample to be reviewed; tracks will not be manually cued. 

Submissions may be mailed to: City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, PO Box 909, Santa Fe, NM 87504-0909, Attention: Poet Laureate. Submissions must be received (not postmarked) by April 26th, 2012 at 5 PM. Good luck!

(Compiled from City of Santa Fe press materials)