San Mateo Poet Laureate nomination deadline is Wed July 31st

Calling all San Mateo County Poets!

San Mateo County Poet Laureate Nomination Period Ends on Wednesday, July 31st!

(Redwood City, CA) – Wednesday, July 31st will mark the close of the nomination period for all poets interested in becoming San Mateo County’s first Poet Laureate, or for those interested in nominating a poet for the honorary post. There is still time to submit your nomination for consideration – but do so quickly!

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors created the honorary post of Poet Laureate at their April 23rd meeting. Supervisors Groom and Slocum formed the San Mateo County Poet Laureate Advisory Committee which includes: California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera; Jackie Berger, Director of the Master of Arts in English Program at Notre Dame de Namur University; Kalamu Chaché, East Palo Alto Poet Laureate; Maryann Moise Derwin, Chair of the San Mateo County Library JPA Governing Board and Portola Valley City Council; Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services for San Mateo County Library; Julie Fellers, President, Peninsula Arts Council; Mary Gutierrez, Dean of Language Arts at Skyline College; Clark Kepler, local business advocate; Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Literary Director of the San Mateo County Fair; Donald Mulliken, San Mateo County Arts Commissioner; Christopher Wachlin, President of the CA Writers Club, San Francisco-Peninsula Branch; and Bonny Zanardi, Arts Columnist for the San Jose Mercury News. The selected Poet Laureate’s role will be to elevate poetry among San Mateo County residents and to celebrate the literary arts. The nomination deadline is July 31, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.

“We are heartened to see so many nominations already before the close of the nominating period which speaks to the number of fine poets within San Mateo County and our strong literary arts community,” said Supervisor Warren Slocum. “We look forward to celebrating the diversity of our County through the spoken word and literary arts.”

Supervisor Carole Groom added, “In our Silicon Valley world of hurried communication, poetry offers a gift of the well-crafted phrase. A Poet Laureate can act as a steward of language, providing opportunities to savor words and sound. We are hoping that this will inspire children and adults to read, write, and share poetry in San Mateo County.”

Eligibility Criteria for the San Mateo County Poet Laureate includes:
· The Poet Laureate must be 18 years or older.
· The Poet Laureate will be available to serve a two-year term, commencing in October 2013.
· The Poet Laureate will be a San Mateo County resident of at least three years who has been published or recognized for poetry and literary contributions. The number and quality of published works will be taken into account in our selection process.
· The Poet Laureate will have demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry and embraces the opportunity to engage in community service to make poetry more accessible and available.
· The Poet Laureate must have a willingness to serve as an ambassador for San Mateo County and to engage the citizens of San Mateo County in poetry at public events through public readings, workshops, visiting schools and other means.
· The Poet Laureate must be available to travel throughout San Mateo County.

Responsibilities of the San Mateo County Poet Laureate include:
· The Poet Laureate will represent San Mateo County and the art of poetry through outreach activities related to poetry.
· The Poet Laureate will present appropriate works at a minimum of four selected County-sponsored events during the year, including events involving schools and youth.
· The Poet Laureate will write a commemorative poem about San Mateo County or its environs.
· The Poet Laureate will open the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meetings with a poem every quarter.

Nomination forms and guidelines are available online at, as well as at local libraries and at the County Government Center. For more information, please contact Marci Dragun at or (650) 599-1021. Applications should be submitted by email to Paper submissions can be sent to: San Mateo County Poet Laureate, Supervisor Warren Slocum, Board of Supervisors, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063.


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