Navigate Up
Menu + Public Affairs
Home > News Releases

Poets May Now Apply for Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Post

Selected Poet to Serve from April 2014 to March 2016
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—Today, the County of Santa Clara in partnership with Silicon Valley Creates announced the opening of the application process for selecting the 2014 -2016 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate is an honorary post.  The selected poet’s role is to elevate poetry in the awareness of Santa Clara County residents and to help celebrate the literary arts. The application deadline is September 30, 2013, 5:00 p.m.
The honorary post of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate was created by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors on November 18, 2008. The County works in partnership with Silicon Valley Creates, formerly Arts Council Silicon Valley, to identify a nominee to fill the two-year post, following appointment by the Board of Supervisors.
“Through poetry activities, the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate will engage the public in helping to create a poetic identity of Santa Clara County and showcase the spirit of its people,” said Supervisor Ken Yeager, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “Poetry is a wonderful way to commemorate the rich and diverse culture of Santa Clara County.”
Two Poets Laureate have served to date, Nils Peterson (2009-2011) and Sally Ashton (2011-2013). During his tenure, among several projects, Peterson created a 100-line poem called “A Family Album, Santa Clara County, 2009.”  Ashton led several projects as well and notably created “Poetry on the Move” that put poetry on VTA railcars and buses.
Eligibility Criteria for the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
·        The Poet Laureate will be available to serve a two-year term
·        The individual will be a current Santa Clara County resident who has resided in the County for the past three years and has been published or recognized for poetry and literary contributions.
·        The individual’s poetic interests respond to, or represent, the diversity of arts and cultures in Santa Clara County
·        The individual has demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry and embraces the opportunity to engage in civic discourse
The Poet Laureate will not be considered an employee of Santa Clara County and will continue to have individual pursuits.
Duties of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
·        Represent Santa Clara County and the art of poetry through outreach related to poetry
·        Present appropriate works at a minimum of four selected County-sponsored events, dedications, or memorials per year
·        Act as a resource for poetry and literary activities of the Santa Clara County Library
·        Lead and participate in National Poetry Month events and activities
·        Undertake projects throughout the County of Santa Clara that will make poetry more available and accessible to people in their everyday lives
The Poet Laureate will receive a modest honorarium.
The selection process will be administered by Silicon Valley Creates. Applications will be peer-reviewed by established poets by October 2013.  Interviews with finalists will be conducted and completed in November 2013. The recommended Poet Laureate will be announced at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors in December 2013.
Application guidelines are available at and at For more information, please contact Silicon Valley Creates at or 408-998-2787 ext 214. Applications should be submitted by email to  Paper submissions can be sent to: Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, Silicon Valley Creates, 4 North Second Street, Suite 500, San Jose, CA 95113. 
Media Contact:  Gwendolyn Mitchell/Lingxia Meng, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Ben Daniels, Silicon Valley Creates (408) 998-2787, ext. 219
Posted: August 9, 2013