Santa Barbara Searches for 2021 Poet Laureate

Source: City of Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the city of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Public Library, is pleased to announce the 2021 Poet Laureate search. Applications and nominations will be accepted online until March 5, 2021 at

The city of Santa Barbara is seeking nominations or applications for the position of Santa Barbara Poet Laureate. The person selected shall seek to advance awareness of and appreciation for poetry, spoken word, and the literary arts within the greater community. As both a local resident and a distinguished poet, the Poet Laureate shall represent and celebrate the diversity and history of the area. The Santa Barbara Public Library serves as the Office of the Poet Laureate and a major partner in the stewardship of the program.

Current Poet Laureate Laure-Anne Bosselaar’s term concludes in March 2021. Under Bosselaar’s leadership, the program expanded to provide a series of community workshops, readings and events at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

Bosselaar noted, “Poetry an art that is available to absolutely everyone. Everyone is a poet at heart. No need for paint, ballet shoes, clay, a stage, canvas, tuba or guitar: we just need paper and pen!  I’m so grateful to have met many truly talented and most moving poets during my tenure, who wrote poetry for the very first time.”

The city’s Poet Laureate is an honorary position established in 2005. The individual selected will serve a two-year term commencing in April 2021 for which they will receive a $2,000 stipend. As a spokesperson for the city’s literary community, the Poet Laureate shall endeavor to promote the artistic achievements of the city and actively participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities in the community at various times throughout their term of service.

“The Poet Laureate position represents Santa Barbara’s commitment to literacy, creativity and education,” said city Arts Advisory Committee Chair Margie Yayhavi.

Laureates Emeriti include:

  • Enid Osborn (2017-19)
  • Sojourner Kincaid Rolle (2015-17)
  • Chryss Yost (2013-15)
  • Paul Willis (2011-13)
  • David Starkey (2009-11)
  • Perie Longo (2007-09), and
  • Barry Spacks (2005-07)


For more information, go to

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