Speaking Poet Laureate and Speaking of Poet Laureates

Arbor day poetry
A poetic sign reflects how Davis incorporated Arbor Day with poetry last year. Photo courtesy City of Davis.

Andy Jones, Davis Poet Laureate, will speak at the UC Davis Peter J. Shields Library Thursday, April 26, 2018, 7 – 8 p.m., Room 205.  He is author of the poetry books In the Almond Orchard: Coming Home from War (2016) and Split Stock (2006). Currently a lecturer with the University Writing Program, he has taught writing and literature at UC Davis for more than 25 years.

Andy Jones
Andy Jones, lecturer and Davis Poet Laureate

But, Jones won’t always be the poet laureate of Davis. The city is seeking nominations for a new one.

Nominations now being accepted for next poet laureate

A little background is in order. In October 2009, the Davis City Council established the poet laureate position. This honorary two-year position celebrates the art of poetry, and its impact on the Davis community. Allegra Silberstein held the position from 2010 through 2012; Eve West Bessier, 2012-2014; and Andy Jones is serving his second term, which will end in September 2018.  Nominations for a new poet laureate are being accepted through May 11, 2018.

Davis residents may nominate themselves or another candidate. The poet laureate must be a resident of Davis and at least 18 years old. Additionally, they must be able to serve the two-year term and have demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry and embrace the opportunity to engage in civic discourse.

Nominators must submit a brief letter describing the qualities and skills that make their nomination an excellent candidate for the position, as well as three original works of poetry, and the nominee’s resume.          

All nominations must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, May 11, 2018 and can be submitted in one of three ways:

  • In person in the City Manager’s Office, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.
  • Via email to rhartsough@cityofdavis.org
  • Via mail to Attn: Rachel Hartsough, City Manager’s Office, City of Davis, 23 Russell Blvd, Suite 1, Davis, CA  95616

Duties include representing the city of Davis and the art of poetry through outreach activities, presenting original works of poetry at official city events throughout the year, writing and submitting poetry about Davis for publication, presenting and discussing poetry at community events, in schools or with community groups, and acting as a resource for poetry and literary activities in Davis. There’s also an Arbor Day celebration in which the poet laureate participates.

A selection committee will review applications and select finalists. The Civic Arts Commission will review the committee decision and make a recommendation to the City Council.

Application information can be found on the city’s website.

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