Santa Fe Poet Laureate Application Guidelines
The City of Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department’s Poet Laureate program honors a Santa Fe poet and recognizes the place that poetry has in our community’s cultural tradition and civic life. The Poet Laureate is an ambassador of the art form, literature, literacy, and storytelling and works to inspire the next generation of poets and their readers.
- poet must currently live or work in Santa Fe City or County for a minimum of two years and continue to live or work in the city or county throughout the appointment.
- poet must have significant publication history in a variety of journals and media, and preferably at least one book in print or under contract from a reputable press (excluding self-published and vanity presses); have recognition in the field; and demonstrate literary excellence
- poet must have demonstrated a previous commitment to promoting awareness of poetry
- poet must be 21 years of age and older
- read original poems at ceremonial events, such as the Mayoral Inauguration, the City Councilors’ swearing-in, the Mayor’s Arts Awards, Community Days, and public building and/or art dedications
- champion the art of poetry and the spoken word in the city in person and on social media
- encourage appreciation of the art form and creative expression by a wide range of city residents, including youth
- enact an educational outreach initiative for the community that integrates the poet’s personal growth and interests with a realistic work schedule for the poet. Ideas for this initiative might include but are not limited to any of the following: curating a series of poetry readings with a specific theme, public readings in unique venues, hosting workshops at various neighborhoods and sites (nature trails, public art, libraries, community spaces, etc.), working with arts education programs, interdisciplinary collaborations, and more
Compensation: The Poet Laureate receives an honorarium of up to $10,000 to offset costs associated with the position, half of which includes the poet’s honorarium and half of which covers programming and projects. Funds are typically dispersed in four equal payments, distributed quarterly.
Term of Service: The Poet Laureate serves for one renewable 12-month term, from January to December. A second year is contingent on funding. If the Poet Laureate cannot fulfill their contract due to extended illness, relocation, or other circumstances, the City may appoint a new Poet Laureate based on previous nominations to fill the remainder of the term.
Requirements: The Poet Laureate is required to enter into a professional services agreement with the City of Santa Fe and obtain New Mexico CRS and City of Santa Fe Business Registration numbers. The Poet Laureate will also be required to register as a City-approved vendor through the MUNIS Financial Database. The City retains the rights to publish and distribute poetry created as part of the Poet Laureate program for noncommercial purposes, including but not limited to use in City-related advertising, brochures, media, publicity, catalogues, or other similar documents.
Final Report: The Poet Laureate will provide a written reflection of the one-year term to the Arts and Culture Department. This report may be presented in prose or poetry form
Photo documentation is required for events with proper photo release forms.
Poet Laureate Code of Conduct
- The Poet Laureate’s authority as such is limited solely to their assigned duties, and they will conduct their relationships with the Arts and Culture Department, Mayor, City Council, the local citizenry, and the media based on this fact.
- The Poet Laureate position serves the City of Santa Fe and its communities, and they will resist pressure to use the position to benefit themselves, any other individuals, or agencies.
- The Poet Laureate will:
- welcome and encourage active participation by Santa Fe citizens, organizations, and the media;
- have no interest nor acquire any interest, direct or indirect, conflicting with the performance of Poet Laureate duties;
- always present themselves and the Poet Laureate program in a professional and respectful manner; and
- take responsibility for creating a positive environment for the growth and development of the arts in their community.
How to Apply
Application Deadline: December 4, 2023, 5:00 p.m. MDT
Application packet must include:
- Poet’s name, address, phone number
- Poet’s resume
- Letter of interest from poet
- A budget proposal for year one of the term and a breakdown of the $12,000 for year one, including the poet’s $6,000 honorarium and $6,000 for program costs, to include at least one educational outreach project (proposal should be 3 pages maximum)
- Three to five poems by the poet. If the poet writes in a language other than English, the original poetry and an English translation should also be submitted.
- One link to a website or video of the poet reading their original work.
Submit the application packet to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Poet Selection Panel: The Poet Selection Panel contains at least one Arts Commissioner and up to four other members with the following qualifications: expertise in the literary arts field, reflect diversity of age, ethnicity, race, etc., and may include past Poets Laureate of Santa Fe.
Phase I: The Poet Selection Panel evaluates all work submitted by the applicants: poetry, resumes, and letters of interest. The Poet Selection Panel chooses up to three finalists.
Phase II: The Panel conducts interviews with the finalists, which includes a review of the Poet Laureate’s Code of Conduct, the City’s copyright requirements, and an overview of the contractual agreement. Interviews may also include an opportunity for the finalists to present an oral reading of their work. The Panel ranks the finalists and makes recommendations to the Mayor of Santa Fe for the final decision. Considerations may include:
- Quality of poetry
- Recognition from publications, grants, fellowships, and academic and/or non-academic awards
- Engagement in past projects that involve poetry
- Other experiences related to the tradition of poetry
- Suitability of the work for civic celebration