Nominations for the position of Colorado Poet Laureate are open for submissions. The Poet Laureate position was created to promote an appreciation of poetry in Colorado and to honor outstanding Colorado poets. The Poet Laureate serves as an active advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature by participating in readings and other events at schools, libraries, literary festivals, and the State Capitol. The Poet Laureate will also provide the Governor with an annual account of the impact and success of the Colorado Poet Laureate program.
The selection of Poet Laureate will be based on artistic excellence, a demonstrated history of community service in the advancement of poetry, and the ability to present poetry effectively. A review panel will be convened to review nominations and make recommendations to the Governor, who will make the final selection. Complete nominations will be accepted through February 1, 2019. The Poet Laureate chosen by the Governor will serve a four-year term beginning in July 2019.
Any organization or individual may nominate poets for consideration. Nominators should work closely with their choice to submit the nomination form and information requested. Self-nomination is also an option. The Colorado Poet Laureate must be a legal, full-time Colorado resident for at least three years prior to the nomination deadline. The Poet Laureate must also remain a resident of Colorado during the term of office and must pass a standard background check. Nominations must be submitted online no later than February 1, 2019 at ColoradoHumanities.com.
Colorado became one of the first states to have a Poet Laureate when Governor Oliver Shoup appointed Alice Polk Hill in 1919. Since then five other people have served: Nellie Burget Miller (1923-1952), Margaret Clyde Robertson (1952-1954), Milford E. Shields (1954), Thomas Hornsby Ferril (1979-1988), Mary Crow (1996-2010), David Mason (2010-2014), and Joseph Hutchison (2014 - Present).
Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book and Colorado Creative Industries will annually supply the Poet Laureate with $2,000 honoraria and up to $2,000 travel expenses per year related to public presentations.
To learn more about the Poet Laureate’s history and role in the literary life of the state and sign up for Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book and Colorado Creative Industries newsletters, please visit ColoradoHumanities.org and Colorado Creative Industries.