The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and 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 online.

The selection of the Poet Laureate is timed to coincide with the recognition of April as National Poetry Month.

Santa Barbara’s three Poet Laureates in a photo taken for California Arts Day 2009; Barry Spacks, 2005-2007; Perie Longo, 2007-2009; and current Poet Laureate David Starkey, 2009-2011.

The position of Poet Laureate was established in 2005 as an honorary position by City Arts Advisory with Santa Barbara City Council approval. Since that time the greater Santa Barbara community has greatly benefited from the efforts of its Poet Laureates, Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, and most recently David Starkey. Each through their service have increased awareness of the literary arts and energized community engagement and creativity. The individual selected for 2011 will serve a two-year term, commencing in April when current City Poet Laureate David Starkey’s term ends.

Following is a brief outline of guidelines:

Who May be Nominated? Eligible nominees must meet the following requirements:

· Be a current resident of or work in the City of Santa Barbara and its environs, (defined as being within the First, Second or Third Supervisorial District), with at least five concurrent years of residency or employment.

· Be available to travel throughout the greater Santa Barbara community

· Be a recognized poet who meets the review criteria listed below

Review Criteria:

· A proven history of substantial publication of individual poems and/or books, including at least one work that is not self-published or by a vanity press

· An established history of activity in the Santa Barbara literary community, i.e., readings, publications, public presentations, and/or teaching

· Critical acclaim as demonstrated by special honors, awards, or other recognition

Who May Nominate: Santa Barbara Poet Laureate nominations may come from any organization or individual.

Self-nominations will not be accepted. The nomination deadline is February 22, 2011.

For further information on the search for Santa Barbara’s next Poet Laureate visit the Arts Commission online or call 568-3990.


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