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Call for Nominations and Submissions for Santa Fe Poet Laureate


(Nominations are closed. The following provided for information only.) 


Perhaps no city in the United States can claim a greater proportion of its citizens who write, read and love poetry than Santa Fe. It is to recognize and celebrate the importance of poetry in our community that the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission established the position of Poet Laureate in 2005. By honoring a talented and dedicated poet in this public way, the Commission envisions the Poet Laureate as one who will find ways to weave the poetic arts even more widely into the fabric of Santa Fe life.


The objectives of the program are to:

  • Advocate for and raise the visibility of poetry in the community
  • Increase the connection of poets to the public
  • Provide recognition of the literary arts by the City of Santa Fe
  • Foster poetry learning, both formal and informal
  • Offer a platform for interdisciplinary arts and cross-sector pollination and partnerships


Poet Laureate is a two-year honorary position whose focus is advancing the Poet Laureate Program Objectives. Broadly, the Poet Laureate’s duties center in four areas:

  • Arts Learning/Education
  • Collaboration/Community Building
  • Civic/Ceremonial
  • Creative Endeavors

The Poet Laureate will:

  • Read poems for civic ceremonies, occasionally and as mutually agreed upon
  • Represent the Poet Laureate program at various events and serve as an ambassador for poetry
  • Offer advice, feedback and assistance to the City in matters related to the literary arts
  • Provide a written report at the conclusion of her/his term.

In addition, each Poet Laureate will:

  • Determine a specific project, event or initiative he or she wishes to undertake. Examples of Poet Laureate activities might include organizing readings or events; workshops for the public; developing learning opportunities for youth in or out of school; building projects that cross-fertilize art forms (e.g. dance based on poetry, poetry-inspired visual arts, etc.); etc.
  • Each year, author at least one poem inspired by the city of Santa Fe and its history, traditions, people, cultures and/or uniqueness. The Poet Laureate may author the poem herself/himself, in collaboration with other poets, or in partnership with the community.


Individuals must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have a compelling portfolio of published work
  • Demonstrate an established history of activity in the greater Santa Fe literary community, i.e. readings, publications, public presentations, etc.
  • Be a current resident of Santa Fe County
  • Have lived in Santa Fe County for at least three years
  • If selected be able to obtain a New Mexico CRS number and City of Santa Fe Business Registration as well as sign an agreement with the City
  • Depending on the type of special project, event, initiative, etc. selected by the Poet Laureate, proof of insurance coverage may also be required. (This requirement will be discussed in-depth with the selected Poet Laureate based on the specifications of her/his proposed project.)
  • Poet Laureate must abide by the Code of Conduct, available upon request.

Term of Service

The Poet Laureate is a two-year honorary position. Individuals may not serve back-to-back terms; there is a four-year waiting period before she/he is again eligible for nomination. If a Poet Laureate cannot fulfill her/his contract due to extended illness, relocation or other circumstances, the City will select a replacement to fill the remainder of the term from previous nominations.

Copyright and Licenses

The Poet Laureate expressly reserves every right available in common law and under the Federal Copyright Act. The City requests a copyright license in perpetuity to publish and distribute poetry created as part of the Poet Laureate’s agreement for noncommercial purposes, including City-related advertising, brochures, media, etc. The City also requests permission to reprint poetry created under the agreement for the purposes of soliciting financial support for the Poet Laureate program.


The Poet Laureate will receive a $5,000 per year honorarium, inclusive of applicable taxes, payable on a quarterly basis. Issuance of the final payment will occur upon approval of the written final report.

Nomination Requirements      

Any individual living in Santa Fe County may nominate a poet for consideration. Self-nominations are not eligible. 

To nominate a candidate for Poet Laureate, please submit a letter of nomination stating why you believe the poet merits the title of Santa Fe Poet Laureate and why you believe she or he is able to represent the City of Santa Fe (one page maximum in .doc or .pdf file format). Use the link below. You may nominate more than one candidate using the form link separately for each nomination.

As a nominated candidate for Poet Laureate, please submit the following required items: (via the link below)

  • Letter of interest including a description of your interest in the position and a brief statement of the special initiative you propose undertaking (one page maximum in .doc or .pdf file format)
  • Biographical information (one page maximum in .doc or .pdf file format)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae  (three pages maximum in .doc or .pdf file format)
  • Bibliography of published works (two pages maximum in .doc or .pdf file format)
  • Previous awards and/or recognitions (one page maximum in .doc or .pdf file format)
  • Samples of original poetry. If youwrite in a language other than English, please submit the original poem with an English translation. (Five poems max. within a seven-page limit in .doc or .pdf file format)
  • Audio or video samples of you reading your work. Submit MP3 audio files or provide links to websites (e.g., a personal website, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).


A review of all nominations will occur to ensure eligibility and completeness. Incomplete nominations are not eligible. A panel consisting of a City of Santa Fe Arts Commissioner and up to four other individuals will review eligible nominations. The Panel members should have:

  • Expertise in the literary arts field
  • Reflect diversity of age, ethnicity, background etc. 

Past Poet Laureates may serve as panel members. 

The panel will evaluate nominations based on:

  • Quality of poetry
  • Suitability of the work for civic use
  • Literary recognition as evidenced by publications, awards and recognitions
  • Engagement in past projects that involve poetry.

 At its discretion, the panel may conduct interviews with up to three finalists. The interviews may include five-minute readings by the candidate and/or more detailed discussions regarding her/his proposed special initiative.

Term of service of selected Poet Laureate begins July 1, 2019.




Questions? Please feel free to contact us at [bot protected email address] or 955-6707.






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