News Release - August 12, 2008

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2008

Contact: Marcia Schneider (415) 557-4252

Call for Nominations for San Francisco Poet Laureate

Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Poet Laureate Nominating Committee are seeking nominations for the fifth Poet Laureate, to succeed Jack Hirschman, 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.

Responsibilities of the Poet Laureate include:

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

San Francisco's fourth Poet Laureate, Jack Hirschman, appointed by Mayor Newsom in 2006, presented an international poetry festival at the Palace of Fine Arts in the summer of 2007 in association with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the S.F. Public Library.

Previous Poet Laureates, appointed by Mayor Willie Brown, included Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Janice Mirikitani and devorah major.

Nomination forms for the Poet Laureate can be found online at 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 August 29, 2008, should be sent to Luis Herrera, City Librarian, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, or submitted to any branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

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

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