Search for new poet laureate underway

The Oregon Poet Laureate program is now accepting applications through Jan. 8, 2024, from those interested in becoming the state’s new poet laureate with their term starting May 2024.

Funded by the Oregon Cultural Trust and hosted by Oregon Humanities, the Oregon Poet Laureate program fosters the art of poetry through encouraging literacy, learning and an understanding of the humanities and heritage reflected by the public life of Oregonians.

Oregon’s current poet laureate, Portland native Anis Mojgani, described how ““A poet is a witness who imagines, and through these acts gives us permission to do the same. For the times we’re in, we must be powerfully imaginative.”

Previous Oregon Poets Laureate include Elizabeth Woody of Warm Springs, Kim Stafford of Portland, the late Peter Sears of Corvallis and Lawson Inada of Medford.

A poet laureate will be expected to participate in at least 10 public readings or events every year in multiple places around the state. With the goal of showing the value of poetry to businesses, state leaders and the community itself.

Those considering nominations must be a resident of Oregon and have lived in the state for at least 10 years. Prospective applicants should also be accomplished poets and have a body of published or performed work. Poets of all genres and styles will be considered.

To nominate yourself or another fill out the online form at Nominations will be reviewed by a committee who will recommend finalists to the Governor for final selection of the next poet laureate.