Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Arizona joins the ranks of states with a poet laureate post

Congratulations to our colleagues at the Arizona Commission on the Arts in Phoenix. Thanks to their efforts, and those of the Arizona literary community and State Senator Al Melvin, the 2012 legislature passed a bill establishing a poet laureate post for the State of Arizona. On May 11, 2012, Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1348 into law, and October marks the beginning of the nomination, review and selection process.

Until now, Arizona was one of only eight states without a poet laureate position. Wyoming’s poet laureate is Patricia Frolander of Sundance. She is Wyoming’s fifth poet to serve in that position.

The Arizona bill specifies that the appointed poet laureate will serve a term of two years; will offer public readings throughout the year, in both urban and rural communities in various regions of the state; and will pursue a major literary project over the course of the appointment term.

The Arizona Poet Laureate will be provided with an annual honorarium of $2,500 to offset travel and so that he/she is able to actively serve the broadest constituency of Arizonans, who live, learn and work in urban, rural and suburban areas of the state.

The honorarium will be disbursed from the Arizona Poet Laureate Fund, which consists of private monies donated by individuals, organizations or businesses – raised by the Arts Commission and its statewide literary partners.

Interested parties may nominate themselves or others for the position of Arizona Poet Laureate through a process managed by the Arizona commission on the Arts. The initial deadline for nominations is November 9, 2012. To review details and information regarding the nomination/application and selection process, visit

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