Tucson Poet Laureate: Call for Nominations
By: Arts Foundation
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Tucson Poet Laureate: Call for Nominations

The call for 2016 nominations is now closed. Please join us at this year’s Tucson Festival of Books where Mayor Rothschild will announce the next Poet Laureate!


Call for 2016 nominations: Tucson’s Poet Laureate

Nomination materials accepted: December 1, 2016 – February 1, 2017, 5:00 p.m.


The City of Tucson, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, and University of Arizona Poetry Center are pleased to announce an open call for nominations to appoint Tucson’s next poet laureate.

The selected individual will serve a two-year term to begin March 1, 2017. Poets laureate may not serve more than three terms. The purpose of the Tucson Poet Laureate position is to promote poetry and an appreciation of poetry among the general public and to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists and readers of literature. The Tucson Poet Laureate will serve as an ambassador to the literary arts and reflect the spirit of the community by promoting literary education in our schools and communities and bringing poetry to the people in Tucson who have limited access or exposure to the literary arts.

“We need to get our young children interested in reading … and I’m a believer that one of the important ways to do that is through poetry.”

— Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Selection calendar

Nominations Open: December 1, 2016
Deadline for Nominations: February 1, 2017, 5:00 PM
Review Panel to Select Three Finalists: February 18, 2017
Final Selection by Tucson Mayor: March 1, 2017


  • To be eligible for this appointment, all applicants must:
    Have been a resident of Tucson for at least two years from the date of
  • Reside in this state for at least six months of the year.
  • Be a poet of stature recognized in the literary, cultural, or education
  • Have a significant prior record of high quality, published or documented work or service through the literary arts.
  • Be willing to make presentations throughout the Tucson area.

Specific duties

Tucson poets laureate may be asked to perform the following duties throughout their appointment:

  • Give four public readings per year.
  • Compose poems for ceremonial occasions, as requested.
  • Pursue a major literary project with an emphasis on outreach and education.
  • Pursue other projects related to poetry and literary arts, such as involvement in the Tucson Festival of Books or other such activities.
  • Collaborate with other city and state poets laureate (including the Arizona state poet laureate).

Nomination materials

Individuals may nominate an individual of their choice or may self-nominate. Nomination materials will be accepted only through Submittable, an online submissions manager found on The Arts Foundation website. Materials emailed or mailed will not be considered. To begin the nomination process, please collect the following materials:

  • Completed cover form with comprehensive contact information (found on Submittable application).
  • One letter of nomination form an individual, organization or school with recent and direct experience of working with or learning form the nominee.
  • Nominee’s current resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Writing sample of nominee’s work (published or unpublished), not to exceed 10 pages.
  • Statement explaining why the nominee wishes to be considered for the position of poet laureate and what the nominee hopes to accomplish in the office, not to exceed one page.
  • Comprehensive contact information for at least two professional references.

All nominations will be reviewed by community panel, administered by The Arts Foundation. The final review will result in a list of three individuals, in ranked order, outlining the panel’s recommendations for poet laureate. The Mayor shall choose the appointee from the submitted list within 30 days of receipt of panel recommendations. We will announce the winner at the Tucson Festival of Books this year! The Tucson Poet Laureate will receive a $2,500 stipend during the two-year term.

Questions related to the nomination process should be directed to: info@artsfoundtucson.org


Past Poet Laureate

Photo: Poetry Center, University of Arizona


. . .the healing
of the blossoms

is a red spiking

opening to the tongues
of hummingbirds


a. . .


In 2012, Mayor Rothschild named poet, translator, and editor, Rebecca Seiferle Tucson’s Poet Laureate.

Rebecca earned a BA from SUNY and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. Her collections of poetry include The Music We Dance To (1999), winner of the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America; Bitters (2001), which won both the Western States Book Award and a Pushcart Prize; and Wild Tongue (2007), winner of the Grub Street National Poetry Prize. She has translated poets such as César Vallejo, Alfonso D’Aquino, and Ernesto Lumbreras.

“I would rather revise the role, so that a poet laureate is not one who is crowned but one who crowns.”

— Rebecca Seiferle

You can read a full article of Rebecca Seiferle’s impressions of being Tucson Poet Laureate here.

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