SANTA BARBARA — The search for the 2021 Santa Barbara Poet Laureate is officially underway.
The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the city of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Public library, is accepting applications and nominations online through March 5.
The person selected will seek to advance awareness of and appreciation for poetry, spoken word, and the literary arts within the greater community. As both a local resident and a distinguished poet, the poet laureate will represent and celebrate the diversity and history of the area. The Santa Barbara Public Library serves as the Office of the Poet Laureate and a major partner in the stewardship of the program, according to a news release.
Current Poet Laureate Laure-Anne Bosselaar’s term concludes in March 2021. Under Ms. Bosselaar’s leadership, the program expanded to provide a series of community workshops, readings and events at the Santa Barbara Public Library.
“Poetry (is) an art that is available to absolutely everyone,” she said in a statement. “Everyone is a poet at heart. No need for paint, ballet shoes, clay, a stage, canvas, tuba or guitar; we just need paper and pen!
“I’m so grateful to have met many truly talented and most moving poets during my tenure, who wrote poetry for the very first time.”
The city’s poet laureate is an honorary position established in 2005. The individual selected will serve a two-year term commencing in April 2021 for which they will receive a $2,000 stipend. As a spokesperson for the city’s literary community, the poet laureate will work to promote the artistic achievements of the city and actively participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities in the community at various times throughout their term of service.
“The Poet Laureate position represents Santa Barbara’s commitment to literacy, creativity and education,” city Arts Advisory Committee Chair Margie Yayhavi said in a statement.
To apply or submit a nomination, visit www.sbac.ca.gov/poet-laureate.
— Mitchell White