Oakland is now accepting nominations for its first-ever Oakland Poet Laureate Program.
Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Commission approved the creation of the Oakland Poet Laureate position at a Jan. 25 meeting, and the program will be modeled after similar ones in the Bay Area and across the nation. Uniquely, the city has had a Youth Poet Laureate since 2012 through a program run by the Oakland Public Library—but not a similar role for poets over 18.
The inaugural Oakland Poet Laureate will receive a $5,000 honorarium and serve a two-year term beginning in June 2021. During their tenure, the selected poet will deliver an inaugural address, partner with the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate on a collaborative reading series, write one poem commemorating the city, and deliver four readings at various city-owned locations throughout Oakland.