The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division is accepting nominations for a person who will be designated the city’s poet laureate program. Poets are asked to self-nominate by noon on July 14.
West Hollywood created the poet laureate position in 2015. An announcement of the request for nominations states that “the city poet laureate serves as the official ambassador of West Hollywood’s vibrant literary culture, using the position as a platform from which to promote poetry in West Hollywood.”
The city poet laureate will serve for a term of two years. The first city poet laureate, Steven Reigns, served from October 2014-2016. The second poet laureate, began in October 2016, and finished in October 2018. West Hollywood’s third poet laureate, Charles Flowers, began in October 2018 and his term will end in October 2020.
More information about the position and a form for applying can be found online
The person chosen as poet laureate receives a $3,000 honorarium each year. Applications are reviewed by the West Hollywood Library Cultural Programming Committee, which includes City of West Hollywood employees and members of its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission; the West Hollywood branch of the LA County Public Library; the Friends of the West Hollywood Library, and the current and former city poet laureates.
The Library Cultural Programming Committee will forward its recommendation for city poet laureate to the City Council for final approval.
The West Hollywood City Poet will be expected to:
- Enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in West Hollywood;
- Create a focal point for the expression of West Hollywood culture through the literary arts;
- Raise awareness of the power of literature, poetry, and the spoken word in West Hollywood;
- Provide educational opportunities for students and adults regarding the literary arts;
- Promote partnerships with the West Hollywood Library;
- Provide a forum for “cross pollination” of art forms;
- Celebrate the spirit of the people and the special qualities of West Hollywood;
- Inspire an emerging generation of literary artists; and
- Highlight the City of West Hollywood through the literary arts and, over a period of time, create a new body of literary works that commemorate the diversity and vibrancy of the city.
Specific duties for each year include:
- Creating an original poem celebrating West Hollywood, which will be featured on the West Hollywood city website. If appropriate, this poem may be included on the city’s annual holiday card.
- Contributing to the West Hollywood National Poetry Month program by selecting two poets annually to be honored on street-pole banners to be unveiled during National Poetry Month (April).
- Organizing one annual panel discussion and or reading/writing workshop as part of the city’s WeHo Reads Celebrates National Poetry Month program which may have to be an online virtual program.
- Presenting two additional writing workshops or poetry readings which would be presented at a West Hollywood school, the West Hollywood Library, a City Council meeting, or another city sponsored event such as the Russian Cultural Festival, One City One Pride, Women’s History Month, Disabilities Awareness Month, Black History Month, or any of the numerous other events that take place in the city each year.