[The following article was submitted by Michael J. Perez, Director, Pacifica Parks, Beaches and Recreation.]
In June, at a City Council meeting, the selection of a new poet laureate was discussed. Council directed the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission to handle the selection process.
A poet laureate is a poet who acts as an ambassador and advocate for poetry, literature and the arts. They are usually expected to contribute to the agency’s poetry and literary legacy by composing and reading poems at civic events and occasions.
At the July regular Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission meeting, a subcommittee was formed for the purposes of establishing a selection process for choosing Pacifica’s next poet laureate.
The subcommittee met to discuss creating a process for selecting a poet laureate. San Mateo County (SMC) is currently finishing the process of selecting a poet laureate and the subcommittee spoke with County staff and used the County’s application as a guideline to create one for Pacifica.
The subcommittee suggested the selection committee to be 7-9 members and be comprised of local high school teachers (English, literature, creative writing), a college teacher, members of local creative arts organizations, a business community member and a PB&R Commissioner.
The application/nomination period was announced Monday night, Sept. 23, 2013 at the City Council Meeting.
Application/nomination forms are available at the PB&R Department, the Community Center, the Libraries and Florey’s Book store. They are also available to download on the City’s website here.
Nomination Period: September 23 – October 23, 2013
Nomination Deadline: October 23, 2013, 5pm
The Poet Laureate will be an honorary 3-year position. During that term, the Poet Laureate will act as ambassador and advocate for poetry, literature and the arts. It is expected that the Poet Laureate will contribute to Pacifica’s poetry and literary legacy through public readings, and participation in civic events.
Eligibility Criteria for the Pacifica Poet Laureate
The Poet Laureate must be 18 years or older.
· The Poet Laureate will be available to serve a 3-year term.
· The Poet Laureate will be a Pacifica resident who has been recognized for poetry and literary contributions.
· The Poet Laureate will have demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry and embrace the opportunity to engage in community service to make poetry more accessible and available.
· The Poet Laureate must have a willingness to serve as an ambassador for Pacifica and to engage the citizens of Pacifica in poetry at public events such as readings, workshops, visiting schools, etc.
Responsibilities of the San Mateo County Poet Laureate
The Poet Laureate will represent Pacifica and the art of poetry through outreach activities related to poetry.
· The Poet Laureate will present appropriate works at a minimum of four selected City-sponsored events during each year.
· The Poet Laureate will write at least one commemorative poem about Pacifica over the course of their tenure
· The Poet Laureate will open the Pacifica City Council meetings with a poem once each year.
Both nominations and self-nominations will be considered for the honorary post of Pacifica Poet Laureate.
Please respond to the questions below and include additional pages as needed.
1. Write 2 – 3 paragraphs on why you / nominee should be Pacifica’s next Poet Laureate.
2. How would you / nominee contribute and participate as Pacifica’s Poet Laureate based on the position description and the mission and goals of the program?
3. Please describe your / nominee’s demonstrated accomplishments and qualifications.
4. Please describe your / nominee’s understanding and appreciation for Pacifica’s cultural, political, economic and geographical diversity, and how this might be described in poetic form.
ONLY for the Poet Laureate nominee to fill out – if you are nominating a candidate, they will be contacted by the committee upon receipt of the nomination form to provide these materials. Please submit the following with your nomination form:
· A current resume of professional activities and achievements, including significant awards and training, selected exhibition, performances, presentations and/or publications.
· Up to 10 pages of poetry and include on each page the title of the poem and your name.
· Nominations are due on October 23, 2013, at 5pm with no exceptions.
· Nominations may be submitted either by mail, email or dropped off in person.
Poet Laureate Selection Committee
170 Santa Maria Ave.
Pacifica, CA 94044
Or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions, please call the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Department at 650-738-7381.