Introduction and Program Overview
The City of West Hollywood's Arts Division is accepting nominations for its City Poet Laureate program. Poets are asked to self-nominate by July 14, 2020 by 12 noon.
The City of West Hollywood City Poet Laureate serves as the official ambassador of West Hollywood’s vibrant literary culture, using the position as a platform from which to promote poetry in West Hollywood.
The West Hollywood City Poet Laureate will serve for a term of two years. The first City Poet Laureate, Steven Reigns, served from October 2014-2016. Our second City Poet Laureate, Kim Dower, began in October 2016, and finished in October 2018. Our third City Poet Laureate, Charles Flowers, began in October 2018 and will end in October 2020.
The West Hollywood City Poet will be expected to:
Enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in West Hollywood;
Create a focal point for the expression of West Hollywood culture through the literary arts;
Raise awareness of the power of literature, poetry, and the spoken word in West Hollywood;
Provide educational opportunities for students and adults regarding the literary arts;
Promote partnerships with the West Hollywood Library;
Provide a forum for "cross pollination" of art forms;
Celebrate the spirit of the people and the special qualities of West Hollywood;
Inspire an emerging generation of literary artists; and
Highlight the City of West Hollywood through the literary arts and, over a period of time, create a new body of literary works that commemorate the diversity and vibrancy of our City.
The City of West Hollywood City Poet Laureate serves for two years and works with the City’s Arts Division to carry out the City Poet Laureate duties.
Specific duties for each year include:
Creating an original poem celebrating West Hollywood, which will be featured on the West Hollywood City website. If appropriate, this poem may be included on the City's annual holiday card.
Contributing to the West Hollywood National Poetry Month program by selecting two poets annually to be honored on street-pole banners to be unveiled during National Poetry Month (April).
Organizing one yearly panel discussion/reading/writing workshop as part of the City's WeHo Reads Celebrates National Poetry Month program which may have to be an online virtual program. (More info at
Presenting two additional writing workshops or poetry readings which would be presented at a West Hollywood school, the West Hollywood Library, a City Council Meeting, or another City sponsored event such as the Russian Cultural Festival, One City One Pride, Women's History Month, Disabilities Awareness Month, Black History Month, or any of the numerous other events that take place in the City each year. These programs would be pre-approved by Arts Division Staff. You should also address options on presenting such programs in an online virtual format should they need to be.
The activities, as listed above, would be included in scope and provided annual honorarium of the City Poet Laureate program.
The West Hollywood City Poet receives a $3,000 honorarium each year. Each year’s honorarium will be made in 2 separate payments of $1,500 based on benchmarks established in an agreement between the City and the City Poet Laureate. This honorarium will be inclusive of any costs incurred by the City Poet Laureate in producing the WeHo Reads Celebrates National Poetry Month event or other events or poetry writing workshops (i.e, paying other poets to read or speak, purchasing supplies for workshop). The City will cover the room costs, tech costs, and create promotional materials on behalf of the events.
Application and Selection Process
Poets interested in serving as the West Hollywood City Poet are asked to self-nominate themselves by completing this online application and submitting it by the deadline.
Applications are reviewed by the West Hollywood Library Cultural Programming Committee which includes representatives from City of West Hollywood staff and its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission; the West Hollywood branch of the LA County Public Library; the Friends of the West Hollywood Library; and the current and former City Poet Laureates.
The Library Cultural Programming Committee will forward its recommendation for City Poet Laureate to the City Council for final approval.
ONLY poets with a significant connection to the City of West Hollywood will be considered. Such connections may be that the poet lives in the City, works in the City, has volunteered on a regular basis for community programs that deliver services in the City, and/or has organized or participated in multiple literary events that were co-sponsored by and/or took place in the City of West Hollywood. Please refer to www.weho.org/streets to confirm that your residence, work address and/or the activities in which you took part in are actually in the City of West Hollywood.
Additional criteria the Library Cultural Programming Committee will use to make its selection include:
The literary excellence of the writer’s work;
The impact of the poet on other writers and/or on West Hollywood literature;
The poet’s proposed public engagement projects and the ability of the poet to conduct these projects; and
The broader reputation of the writer and the writer’s work locally, regionally, nationally.
For more info on the City Poet Laureate program visit: http://weho.org/residents/arts-and-culture/literary-arts/city-poet
For more information on other Arts Division programs please visit www.weho.org/arts and follow us on social media at www.facebook.com/WeHoArts and www.twitter.com/WeHoArts.
If you have questions about this application or the City Poet Laureate program, please contact the program administrator, Mike Che, Arts Coordinator, at email@example.com.