ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate Nomination Overview

ARTS Obispo calls for nominations for the position of Poet Laureate.

The ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate shares the art of poetry with citizens of San Luis Obispo County through their writings, recitations and leadership of community poetry readings. The ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate facilitates a minimum of six public readings throughout the County to foster cultural vitality and education for the value of creative expression and artistry of poetry. The ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate leads through a cultural or education poetry program for the duration of the two-year term from January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020.

The ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate may choose to collaborate or coordinate their project with other poets and/or artists within San Luis Obispo county. The ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate is confirmed by the SLO County Board of Supervisors.

How to Nominate

  • ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate nominations may come from citizens of SLO County. Poets may self-nominate.
  • Nominations in digital format may be emailed to: [email protected] or uploaded to https://tinyurl.com/ycr2fpvr.
  • Printed hard copies of the nomination packet may be mailed to: ARTS Obispo, 1123 Mill Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

Nomination packets include:

  • A cover letter from the nominating individual(s) describing the qualifications of the nominee and summary statement by the nominee to reflect that the poet's work is of highest quality.
  • The name, résumé, and a short biography of the nominated poet. Please include a list of relevant awards or speaking engagements if available.
  • A statement from the nominated poet, confirming their acceptance of the nomination.

Contact information of the nominated poet:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Website if available
  • Three (3) poems by the nominated poet typed on 8 ½" x 11" paper, single-sided
  • A complete list of all published literary works
  • Letters of recommendation; optional and not required


Nominees shall be living in San Luis Obispo County.


Nominations must be postmarked by August 25, 2018 or received via form upload or emailed to the ARTS Obispo by 11:59 p.m. on August 25, 2018.

Email: [email protected] or upload to https://tinyurl.com/ycr2fpvr.

Review Criteria

  • The Poet Laureate will possess one or more of the following:
  • published or self-published their work
  • considered to be a talented citizen;
  • the author of a significant body of published work; 
  • and agrees to serving a two year term following the confirmation and lead an education or cultural project that extends throughout term.

Review Process

  • Each nomination will be reviewed for completeness. Incomplete nominations may not be considered.
  • The Poet Laureate panel will be comprised of three (3) representatives of the poetry community chosen from a pool of literature experts.
  • The Poet Laureate panel will create a ranked list and choose the ARTS Obispo Poet Laureate.


No nomination applications will be returned.

Proudly featured local poets:  

"Lookout Point" by Joe Amaral  |  "Cambria Portal" by Mary Anne Anderson  |  "Cup of Life" by Diane Arkenstone  |  "Atascadero Creek at Three Bridges Trail" by George Asdel  |  "Snowy Egrets in the Creek" by Kathy Bond  |  "The Beach at Pismo" by Carolyn Chilton Casas"  |  "In the Face of Stone and Sea" by Kevin Drabinski  |  Haiku by Bert Forbes  |  Haiku by Gary Hilberg  |  "Hollister Peak" by Debbie Jensen

The San Luis Obispo County Poet Laureate Program is dedicated to advocating the literary arts by appointing an outstanding local poet as Poet Laureate to promote an appreciation of poetry among people of all ages. The appointment is a two-year term.

For 2017 and 2018, the San Luis Obispo County Poet Laureate is Jeanie Greensfelder. Jeanie is starting a Come Home to Poetry program. “People need to stop, breathe, and come home to themselves. A poem can make that happen.” She encourages neighbors, social and religious groups to meet, share, and discuss favorite poems.

To receive a Poem Most Days from Jeanie, email [email protected].

Jeanie Greensfelder is a retired psychologist and poet. She lived in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to San Luis Obispo 20 years ago with her husband Andy. Her books include: Biting the Apple (Penciled In, 2012), and Marriage and Other Leaps of Faith (Penciled In, 2015). Her poems have been published at Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry and in multiple journals and anthologies. See her poems at jeaniegreensfelder.blogspot.com and at jeaniegreensfelder.com.

“Jeanie Greensfelder describes with courage, humor, and unflinching honesty her path -- her pilgrimage -- through a rich and deeply observed life.”  ~George Bilgere