Poet Laureate

The Ventura County Arts Council is seeking nominations for the position of Ventura County Poet Laureate. The person selected will strive to advance awareness of and appreciation for literary arts and humanities within Ventura County. As both a resident and a distinguished poet, the Poet Laureate shall represent and celebrate the diversity and history of Ventura County. As a representative of the county’s literary community, the Poet Laureate shall endeavor to promote a wide range of literary arts within the county and shall actively participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities throughout the county at various times in his or her term of service.

Nomination Application and Selection Process Form

Term of Service
The Poet Laureate for Ventura County is an honorary position. The individual appointed will serve a two-year term, commencing in January, 2020. Nearing the end of the Poet Laureate’s term, and prior to initiating the next nomination process, the Ventura County Arts Council may extend an invitation to the sitting Poet Laureate to serve a second consecutive term. The Poet Laureate will have thirty days to respond. If he or she elects not to accept the Arts Council’s invitation, the Poet Laureate must wait an intervening term (2 years) prior to being re-nominated.
The Poet Laureate will receive an honorarium of $1000 per term.

Term Expectations
As a condition of appointment, the Poet Laureate will participate in a minimum of four annual public functions throughout the two year term of service. Additionally, the Poet Laureate shall aim to be actively involved with local colleges and schools, and shall endeavor to create or facilitate workshops and readings that will bring the Poet Laureate into contact with students of all ages, and the public in a variety of contexts. To the extent possible, the Poet Laureate also will establish programs to coincide with his or her term of service to promote community awareness of the literary arts, and to encourage community members to develop their own creative interests.
Who May Be Nominated

Eligible nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current resident of the county of Ventura, with at least five consecutive years of residency
  • Be available to travel throughout Ventura County
  • Be a recognized poet who meets the preponderance of the selection criteria listed below
Selection Criteria
  • A proven history of publication of individual poems and/or books, including work that is not self-published or by a vanity press
  • An established presence and history of involvement in the Ventura County literary community, i.e., readings, publications, public presentations, hosting, and teaching
  • Recognition as demonstrated by press coverage, special honors, or awards
Who May Nominate or Apply
Ventura County Poet Laureate nominations may come from any organization or individual. Self-nominations will not be accepted.
The Review and Selection Process
The Poetry Committee shall review the nomination materials and candidate poets, and recommend one or more for consideration by the Ventura County Arts Council, who will make the final appointment of the Poet Laureate. The Committee may seek additional information or clarification from nominators and the respective poets after nomination materials have been submitted, and may conduct interviews of some or all of the nominees before making its recommendations to the Arts Council.

The Poetry Committee
The Poetry Committee is established by the VCAC to broadly represent the Ventura County literary community. Former Poet Laureates shall be invited to serve on the Poetry Committee whenever feasible. A member of the Board of the Ventura County Arts Council will serve as part of the committee. The Poetry Committee shall endeavor to serve as a support group to help facilitate  projects the Poet Laureate may want to pursue.