Call for 2021 Napa County Poet Laureate
Arts Council Napa Valley in partnership with the Napa County Library is now accepting applications for Napa County’s Poet Laureate, a program of the Napa County Board of Supervisors. The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM on January 15, 2020.
As an ambassador for poetry, the Napa County Poet Laureate is expected to promote citizens’ awareness of poetry, including spoken word, as well as heighten their appreciation of the art form. The Poet Laureate will strive to forge a meaningful connection with the community, undertaking projects that make poetry more available and more accessible to people in their everyday lives. During the Poet Laureate’s two-year appointment, they will be expected to present at selected public gatherings, initiate a dialogue between poets and the community, and inspire others in their writing, performance, and personal expression.
“The Poet Laureate program is a special honor that has been supported by our County for nearly a decade. The chosen local writer-performer has a great opportunity to serve our community and show the value of spoken word,” said Chris DeNatale, CEO of the Arts Council.
Napa County’s Poet Laureate is an honorary volunteer position appointed by the Napa County Board of Supervisors for a two-year term. The most recent Poet Laureate, Jeremy Benson, served from 2017 – 2020, ending his second term early due to relocation out of Napa County. During his time in the position, Benson brought a new direction, a huge passion for the work, and a new approachability to the position. From his regular office hours in our County Libraries to his walking poetry tours of our cities and towns, Benson provided unique entry points for our residents to explore the written word. The next Poet Laureate term will begin in February 2021.
“Poetry is imagery of our world and everyday lives,” said Anthony Halstead, director of Library Services and Community Outreach. “The Napa County Poet Laureate will have the opportunity to creatively write and document these unprecedented times.”
The Napa County Library and Arts Council will facilitate the selection process on behalf of Napa County. The final appointment and announcement of the Poet Laureate rests solely with the Napa County Board of Supervisors.