The Sebastopol Center for the Arts was instrumental in the formation of the Sonoma County Poet Laureate program and is still home to its selection committee.
The Poet Laureate is a Sonoma County resident who must manifest a high degree of excellence in their work, produce a critically acclaimed body of work, and demonstrate a commitment to the literary arts in Sonoma County. The Poet Laureate often participates in official ceremonies and readings during their two-year term and receives a $1,000 stipend.
The Sonoma County Poet Laureate is chosen by a distinguished panel who demonstrate a profound knowledge of, and an active commitment to, the life of poetry in Sonoma County. Members of the Selection Panel represent the five Sonoma County Supervisory Districts, Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Sonoma County Library and Sebastopol Center for the Arts. This year’s panel/committee commits to the following timeline:
Opening of nominations — December 1, 2019
Deadline for nominations — January 31, 2020
Poet’s work samples reviewed and finalists selected — February 5, 2020
Works of finalists reviewed — February 5-26, 2020
Poet Laureate selected — February 26, 2020 (IF unable to reach consensus, additional meeting on March 11)
Poet Laureate recommendation made to Board of Supervisors — March 12, 2020
Press Release to all Media of new Poet Laureate — March 12, 2020
Poet Laureate Presentation Reception — April 26, 2020
THE SONOMA COUNTY POET LAUREATE IS A PERSON
Download and complete the Nomination Form (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE); attach the following documents; email all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominees need only ONE nomination to be considered for the position.
Nominations close at 6PM, Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
NOTE: Only submissions that include ALL the above information will be considered.
Please remember to include a statement of consent from the nominee.
Please direct any questions and completed applications to Cynthi Stefenoni, email@example.com.
Maya Khosla has been chosen to be Sonoma County’s 10th Poet Laureate by a committee of her peers. Her term began May 1, 2018 and continues until December 31, 2019. Ms. Khosla’s work as a field biologist, poet and filmmaker has taken her to wilderness areas, to the page and to the screen. She was one of the first volunteers allowed to document the vigorous natural regeneration in Pepperwood Preserve, following the October 2017 fires in Sonoma, and her work is currently ongoing with a team of volunteers. She often combines poetry and film. Her published works include award-winning poetry, non-fiction ,and scripts for documentary films including Village of Dust, City of Water, Shifting Undercurrents, and Searching for the Gold Spot: The Wild After Wildfire. Maya has worked on natural resource surveys throughout California as well as in Kenya and India.
Sonoma County Poets Laureate Roll of Fame:
Iris Jamahl Dunkle (2016-2017)
Katherine Hastings (2014-2015)
Bill Vartnaw (2012-2013)
Gwynn O’Gara (2010-2011)
Mike Tuggle (2008-2009)
Geri Digiorno (2006-2007)
Terry Ehret (2004-2006)
David Bromige (2002-2003)
Don Emblen (2000-2001)
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