News on the Central Coast

Who Will Be the Next Santa Barbara Poet Laureate?

February 17, 2017

Perhaps it could be you!

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture and the Santa Barbara City Arts Advisory Committee announced this week that nominations are being sought for Santa Barbara’s next Poet Laureate. Information and nomination guidelines are available here.

In a joint effort to support and further expand the literary outreach of the Poet Laureate, the Office of Arts & Culture has teamed up with the Santa Barbara Public Library. “The job of the Poet Laureate is to inspire excitement and community engagement around the literary arts, so collaborating with the public library—home and heart of Santa Barbara’s literary collections—made perfect sense,” stated Sarah York Rubin, Executive Director of Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture.

Starting in 2017, the Santa Barbara Public Library will serve as the official office of the next Poet Laureate. “We are thrilled to be ‘Home of the Poet Laureate,’” stated Santa Barbara Public Library Director, Jessica Cadiente, “and we look forward to working with them to create programming for all ages that inspires creativity and celebrates Santa Barbara’s literary community. Our missions dovetail beautifully.”

The selection of the Poet Laureate is timed to coincide with the recognition of National Poetry Month. Entering its 12th year, the position of Poet Laureate was established in 2005 as an honorary position by the City Arts Advisory Committee with Santa Barbara City Council approval. The Poet Laureate serves a two-year term, and past Poets Laureate include the late Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, David Starkey, Paul Willis, Chryss Yost, and most recently Sojourner Kincaid Rolle. A sampling of their works can be found in What Breathes Us: Santa Barbara Poets Laureate 2005-2015, published by Gunpowder Press in 2016. Copies are available at local bookstores and all Santa Barbara Public Libraries.

Nomination Deadline is Friday, March 3, 2017.

Information and nomination guidelines are available online.

Contact: Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture

Phone: (805) 568-3990


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