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Call for Nominations for San Francisco Poet Laureate

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282; mjeffers@sfpl.org

January 20, 2012

Call for Nominations for San Francisco Poet Laureate

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Poet Laureate Nominating Committee are seeking nominations for the sixth San Francisco Poet Laureate, to succeed Diane di Prima, whose term has expired.

Poet Laureate nominees must be San Francisco residents, have a substantial body of published work, including at least one full length book (minimum 48 pages, not self-published or vanity press) or CD (not self-produced) or 20 or more published poems in established publications, print or online, over the past five years.

"As San Francisco's first Poet Laureate said, 'The center of literate culture in cities has always centered in the great libraries.' San Francisco Public Library is pleased to lead the way in this great San Francisco literary tradition by beginning the process for the selection of the next Poet Laureate for our city," said City Librarian Luis Herrera.

Responsibilities of the Poet Laureate include:

  • Deliver an inaugural address to the public at the San Francisco Public Library;
  • Participate in community-based poetry events, including a youth-centered event;
  • Work on one or more poetry-centered events in cooperation with the San Francisco Public Library;
  • Do a reading at Litquake.

San Francisco's fifth Poet Laureate, Diane di Prima, appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2009, planned a series of poetry workshops for children and senior citizens at branch libraries and neighborhood centers aimed at empowering people to write and speak their stories. Previous Poet Laureates included Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Janice Mirikitani, devorah major and Jack Hirschman.

Nomination forms for the Poet Laureate can be found online at http://sfpl.org/poetlaureate or at any San Francisco Public Library. Nominations should include a two or three paragraph statement on why the nominee should be San Francisco's Poet Laureate, and include a bibliography of published works and/or performance history. Nominations, which are due on February 29, 2012, should be sent to Luis Herrera, City Librarian, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, or submitted via email to citylibrarian@sfpl.org

For more information, please call (415) 557-4277.

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