Call for Nominations for San Francisco Poet Laureate

May 28, 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 608-1593


Call for Nominations for San Francisco Poet Laureate

San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed, San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Poet Laureate Selection Committee are seeking nominations for the eighth San Francisco Poet Laureate, to succeed Kim Shuck, whose term is expiring.

“During this crisis, it remains important to support and celebrate poets, writers and artists that make our city special,” said Mayor Breed. “Since the creation of the San Francisco Poet Laureate position in 1998 by Mayor Willie Brown, our poet laureates have brought the beauty and joy of poetry to the lives of our city’s residents. With this call for nominations, we hope to find our next poet laureate, whose words can help uplift and inspire San Franciscans during this difficult time and throughout our recovery.”

San Francisco Public Library administers the selection process for the poet laureate. As San Francisco’s first poet laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti said: “The center of literate culture in cities has always centered in the great libraries.”

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) and a professional digital recording of performance with text (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 public address at San Francisco Public Library;
  • Develop and participate in community-based poetry programs that reflect and honor the diversity of San Francisco.
  • Work on one or more poetry-centered events in collaboration with San Francisco Public Library, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the San Francisco Arts Commission and community partners such as Youth Speaks, Litquake, and others.

San Francisco’s seventh Poet Laureate, Kim Shuck, was appointed to the position in 2017 by Mayor Ed Lee. Previous Poets Laureate include Diane Di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Janice Mirikitani, devorah major, Jack Hirschman and Alejandro Murguía.

Nominations for the Poet Laureate can be submitted online at 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 may also be sent to City Librarian Michael Lambert, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, or submitted via email to

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

May 27, 2020