Poets May Now Apply for Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Post

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Selected Poet to Serve from January 2018 through December 2019

 SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— On August 16th the County of Santa Clara and Santa Clara County Library District, in partnership with SVCREATES, announced the opening of the application process for selecting the 2018–2019 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate is an honorary post. The selected poet’s role is to elevate poetry in the awareness of Santa Clara County residents and to help celebrate the literary arts. The application deadline is September 29, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

The honorary post of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate was created by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors on November 18, 2008. The County works in partnership with SVCREATES to identify a nominee. The nominee is appointed by the Board of Supervisors to fill the two-year post.

“The Santa Clara County Poet Laureate celebrates the literary arts, engaging poetry enthusiasts and creating a deeper appreciation for poetry in our community,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who is also chair of the Santa Clara County Library District Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Board. “We encourage poets from throughout the county to apply for the 2018-19 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate post.”

Four Poets Laureate have served to date: Nils Peterson (2009-2011), Sally Ashton (2011-2013), David Perez (2014-2015), and presently Arlene Biala (2016-2017). During his tenure, among several projects, Peterson created a 100-line poem called “A Family Album, Santa Clara County, 2009.”  Ashton led several projects as well and notably created “Poetry on the Move” that put poetry on VTA railcars and buses. Perez focused on youth arts education and outreach, teaching a poetry workshop series at elementary, middle and high schools and introducing poetry to the public via a Poetry Booth at high profile public events. In Biala’s term, she has led numerous poetry workshops and has brought a pop-up PoeTREE to many events and public spaces, encouraging people of all ages to write lines or short poems.

Eligibility Criteria for the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

• The Poet Laureate will be available to serve a two-year term

• The individual will be a current Santa Clara County resident who has resided in the county for the past three years and has been published or recognized for poetry and literary contributions.

• The individual’s poetic interests respond to, or represent, the diversity of arts and cultures in Santa Clara County

• The individual has demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry and embraces the opportunity to engage in civic discourse

 The Poet Laureate will not be considered an employee of the County of Santa Clara and will continue to have individual pursuits.

Duties of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

• Represent Santa Clara County and the art of poetry through outreach related to poetry

• Participate in up to five selected County-sponsored events, dedications, or memorials per year by selecting and presenting appropriate works

• Act as a resource for poetry and literary activities of the Santa Clara County Library District

•  Lead and participate in National Poetry Month events and activities

  • Undertake projects throughout the Santa Clara County community that will make poetry more available and accessible to people in their everyday lives. Actively participate in social media activity to update the public on Poet Laureate events and projects

• Contribute to the creation of a poetic identity for Santa Clara County

The Poet Laureate will receive a modest honorarium.

The selection process will be administered by SVCREATES. Applications will be peer-reviewed by established poets by October 2017. Interviews with finalists will be conducted and completed in November 2017. The recommended Poet Laureate will be announced at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors in January 2018.

Application guidelines are available at www.sccgov.org/poetlaureate. Applications should be submitted either by email to grant.apps@svcreates.org or by mail to: Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, SVCREATES, 38 W. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

Arts & Culture