What We Do
We manage the Poet Laureate selection process, leverage a network of literary professionals to fuel submittals, and promote Poet Laureate projects and activities on behalf of Santa Clara County. The Poet Laureate is formally appointed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, acting on a recommendation determined through an artistic and community panel selection process coordinated by SVCREATES. SVCREATES administers this County program in partnership with the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) and Poetry Center San José.
Who We Serve
The Poet Laureate is an honorary two-year position that facilitates programs throughout the Santa Clara County community and makes poetry more available and accessible to people in their everyday lives. As the Poet Laureate administrator, we serve the Santa Clara County Library in their effort to celebrate the art of poetry and make poetry more accessible in the everyday lives of Santa Clara County residents.
Why It’s Important
Poet Laureate programs grow public awareness in the literary arts, foster cross-cultural understanding, and connect us to our heritage and to each other.
What’s Been Done
- Administered the selection process and supported the terms of the Poet Laureates Nils Peterson (2009-2011), Sally Ashton (2011-2013), David Perez (2014-2015), Arlene Biala (2016-2017), Mike McGee (2018-2019), Janice Sapigao (2020-2021), and Tshaka Campbell (2022-2023)
- Elevated the Poet Laureates’ community outreach efforts through our network, including Content Magazine features and social media engagement
- Administered the annual Santa Clara County Poetry Out Loud competition; part of the national Poetry Out Loud program
- Tshaka Campbell, the current Poet Laureate, will serve a two-year term from January 2022 - December 2023. Learn more about his work and activities through the Poet Laureate social media channels
- Applications for the 2024-25 Poet Laureate will open in fall 2023