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Posted on: February 7, 2024

Anaheim seeks our next poet laureate

Poet laureate

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2024) — Anaheim is seeking our next poet laureate to serve as our city's literary ambassador and to inspire a love of poetry, reading, writing and the arts.

We're now accepting applications through Anaheim Public Library to be considered as our next poet laureate, the third in the program's history. 

Our next poet laureate will serve a two-year term starting this spring.

Anaheim’s poet laureate holds free workshops at Anaheim libraries, leads poetry readings at city events and heads up community gatherings that promote poetry, literature and the arts.

Anaheim is one of only a handful of cities in California to have a poet laureate, along with Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Laguna Beach, among others.

Our city's current and outgoing poet laureate is Wendy Van Camp, who has served for the past two years and followed our inaugural poet Grant Hier, who served from 2018 to 2020.

A poet laureate serves as the official poet for a city, county, state or nation. The tradition goes back centuries with the history of our nation’s poet laureate dating back to 1937.

To be considered for Anaheim’s poet laureate, you must be a published poet, a resident with strong ties to the city for the past five years, be at least 21 years old and be able to host public poetry readings.  

Applications are due on Tuesday, Feb. 20, by 3 p.m. 

The Selection Process:

A panel chaired by a member of Anaheim's Cultural and Heritage Commission will review applications. The selection panel will include the chair and four members from any of the following groups:

  • Any arts organization in the city of Anaheim
  • The Anaheim Public Library Board
  • An Anaheim-based school district

The committee will review and rank the candidates based on selection criteria. Those judged as being the most qualified will be contacted for an interview. 

An interview will include a reading of selected poetry by the applicant.

The Anaheim Cultural and Heritage Commission will approve the panel's final recommendation and formally appoint the poet laureate.

The appointment is an uncompensated volunteer position for those looking to advance poetry and the arts in Anaheim.

Questions? Contact Anaheim's Art Varela at (714) 765-5250 or Avarela@anaheim.net.

For more, visit Anaheim.net/poet.