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City Seeks Poet Laureate

Nominations due May 11, 2018.

Post Date:April 16, 2018 1:52 p.m.

Nominations are now being accepted for our City’s next Poet Laureate. In October 2009, the Davis City Council established the position of City of Davis Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate program brings the power and beauty of poetry to the Davis community while increasing awareness of the literary arts through community engagement and outreach. 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 from 2012-2014, and Dr. Andy Jones is currently serving his second term as Poet Laureate, which will end in September 2018. Nominations for a new poet are being accepted through May 11, 2018.

The Poet Laureate is a liaison, advocate, and leader who will leverage their artistic excellence and literary achievements to inspire the diverse residents of the Davis community to read, write, perform, and appreciate the written and spoken word.

Davis residents may nominate themselves or another candidate for the Poet Laureate position. The Poet Laureate must be a resident of Davis and at least 18 years of age. 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 5:00 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
  • Via US 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.

Most recently, the community has been able to benefit from a clever collaboration between the Poet Laureate and our City’s Arbor Day celebrations, as seen in these colorful mini-poems that are distributed throughout the City parks, juxtaposed next to beloved trees.

“The role of the Poet Laureate is one that enriches the substance of our City Council meetings, and extends the benefits of the literary arts throughout our community. We are lucky to have had Dr. Andy Jones in this capacity for the past two terms, and look forward to the continued success of this program,” said Mayor Robb Davis.

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 for a Poet Laureate.

Application information can be found on the City’s website at

For more information, please contact Rachel Hartsough at or 530-747-5640.

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