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Poet Laureate, the Search Begins



Santa Fe searches for its next Poet Laureate! The Santa Fe Arts Commission Poet Laureate program, established in 2005, strives to promote a meaningful poetic presence as part of the diverse cultural fabric of the city. This is an honorary position given to a person who has established a presence in the world of poetry, has demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry, and embraces the opportunity to engage in civic discourse. The new Poet Laureate will succeed poet Elizabeth Jacobson, who has served from 2019-June 2021. The Poet Laureate program is designed to enhance the presence of the literary arts in Santa Fe and create a focal point for the expression of Santa Fe’s culture through the literary arts. Objectives for the program also include raising awareness of the power of poetry and the spoken word, providing a forum for the cross pollination of art forms, and fostering the personal and professional growth of the Poet Laureate.


Over time, the program will generate a body of work that commemorates the life of the city, the spirit of its people, and its special qualities. The honorary position includes both ceremonial, through appearances at city events; and educational, through a community outreach project. This project must address a diverse audience with public readings, workshops, and the acceptance of invitations from schools and local organizations.

REQUIREMENTS The Poet Laureate will make four appearances per year at City-sponsored events as determined by the Arts and Culture Department. The Poet Laureate must be over 21 years of age and a resident of Santa Fe County for at least two years, or have been employed in Santa Fe County for at least two years, with a deep involvement in and commitment to the community. The Poet Laureate will serve two years based on the city's fiscal year

APPLICATION PROCESS The application process is in two phases. A. The application packet must include:

  • 1) Poet’s name, address, phone number.

  • 2) Copy of the poet’s resume. Letter of interest from poet, including a proposal and budget for an educational outreach project.

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

B. After the Poet Selection Panel’s determination of up to three finalists, the finalists will interview with the Panel including a reading of their work.

Applications are due Monday, May 17 at 5PM, please email to artscommission@santafenm.gov. Additional information is on the Santa Fe Arts and Culture web site: www.santafenm.gov/poet_laureate, or contact us at (505)955-6707 and artscommission@santafenm.gov.

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