Education

Hunt is on for new California poet laureate

Poet and university professor Juan Felipe Herrera, whose term as California poet laureate expired last year, appears at a poetry reading.
Poet and university professor Juan Felipe Herrera, whose term as California poet laureate expired last year, appears at a poetry reading.
Steve Rhodes/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

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Gov. Jerry Brown is looking for a new state poet laureate.

Since 2001, California has had an official position for the post. The state will pay the next poet laureate a stipend of $5,000 a year. 

The California Arts Council manages the nomination and application process. Friday is the last day to apply or nominate a candidate.

Applicants must:

• Be known for the excellence of his or her work

• Be considered widely as a poet of stature

• Have a significant body of published work

• Agree to undertake a significant cultural project to last through the two-year term.

RELATED: California's first Latino poet laureate, a son of immigrants

A panel of poets will review the applicants and nominations, narrowing the candidates to 15 to 25 people. The names of the top three candidates will be sent to the governor's office, and Brown will make a final selection to submit to the state Senate for confirmation.

From poetry readings to writing commemorative poems, the poet laureate will fill a variety of roles — including spreading the art of poetry, according to the job description.

Juan Felipe Herrera, a poet and University of California-Riverside professor, last held the state poet position. His term expired last year. 

Herrera organized poetry projects in schools and traveled around the state encouraging creative writing. 

California is one of 44 states that has a poet laureate, according to the Library of Congress

Details on how to apply are available on the arts council's website.