City of Vallejo Poet Laureate


    The Vallejo Community Arts Foundation is pleased to announce the continuation of Vallejo’s Poet Laureate Program.

    On July 28, 2015, Genea Brice was named the First Poet Laureate of the City of Vallejo. Building on the solid foundation of her predecessor, D.L. Lang was named Poet Laureate in 2017, and just completed her two-year term.

    The City of Vallejo Poet Laureate is selected through an open-call process. Nominations and direct proposals are welcome to connect with VCAF to be considered for the honor. Nominations will be researched and proposals reviewed by an expert panel, so that one candidate can be appointed by VCAF by December 1, 2019.
    The guiding principles require an open nomination/application process with stated eligibility criteria, judging, and performance expectations to engender inclusiveness, transparency, and fairness.


    The City seeks to name one Poet Laureate to serve as an official ambassador of Vallejo’s vibrant creative scene, promoting the City’s rich literary community and celebrating the written word.

    The objectives of the Poet Laureate are to:

    • Enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in Vallejo;
    • Create a focal point for the expression of Vallejo’s culture through the literary arts;
    • Raise awareness of the power of literature, poetry, and the spoken word;
    • Inspire an emerging generation of critical thinkers, writers, storytellers, and literary artists;
    • Bring the literary arts to people in Vallejo who have limited access to poetry or have few opportunities for exposure to expressive writing;
    • Encourage both the reading and writing of literature; and,
    • Create a new body of literary works that commemorate the diversity and vibrancy of Vallejo.


    Over the course of the two-year appointment, (renewable after the first year), Vallejo’s Poet Laureate will carry out the following duties during each year:

    • Provide no less than six public classes or workshops throughout the area as well as six public readings of either: original works created for these events, past work appropriate to the occasion and audience, and/or historic works by past or living Vallejo poets;
    • Lead and coordination with VCAF one festival-style event at the Empress Theatre in April to celebrate National Poetry Month, with the specific goal to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in Vallejo;
    • Engage Vallejo residents, visitors, civic and elected leaders, young people, adults, seniors, and students of all ages about the value of poetry, the written word, and creative expression through six or more self-coordinated or community-partnered activities that are reviewed and approved by VCAF;
    • Submit content for one poetry blog on the VCAF website to be updated on at least a monthly basis. The purpose of the blog is to excite discussion, exchange, and participation in poetry, as well as educate readers about the culture of the written and spoken word in Vallejo;
    • Use social media as often as possible, or work with VCAF staff to prepare social media communications that encourage excitement about poetry, literacy and literary events, and related issues.


    Finalists for the position of Poet Laureate must be able to demonstrate via their professional resume:

    • The Poet Laureate will be available to serve a two-year term
    • Be at least 21 years of age
    • A residential address within Vallejo for at least three years
    • A minimum of one year experience (not including years as student) in either presenting poetry, self-published or published poetry, with a demonstrated record of being included or invited to present works within poetry journals, magazines, websites, and/or other programs.


    The selection process is managed by VCAF. All proposals will be reviewed by an application review committee, comprised of a team of persons with combined knowledge about: poetry, prose, creative writing, public programs, and the City of Vallejo.

    Stage 1 – Request for Qualifications

    All nominations are required to submit:

    • An application cover page with personal contact information;
    • A standard certification statement, signed by the applicant; and,
    • Two work samples, consisting of PDF copies of published poems and/or web links to videos of poetry readings or performances.

    All Stage 1 submissions will be reviewed and scored on the following two criteria:

    • 4 Points – Ability for the panel to assess the candidates prior experiences on her/his website or other means, and
    • 6 Points – The quality of poetry samples in relation to the excellent talent-pool and multi-cultural nature of Vallejo.

    Stage 2 – Request for Proposals

    The Review Committee will select the top 10 to 15 candidates from Stage 1, who will be asked to submit:

    • A brief biography (7 to 10 sentences);
    • A full résumé or CV;
    • A proposal narrative (of no more than two pages) which must describe how the applicant intends to approach the scope of work and goals of this program; and,
    • Up to four additional recent work samples, consisting of PDF copies of published poems and/or web links to videos of poetry readings or performances.

    Stage 3 – Interview

    Three to five finalists recommended by the Review Committee will be interviewed by the selection committee.


    All application materials for Stage 1 must be submitted electronically via the link on the VCAF website by: 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 15, 2019

    Incomplete and late submissions will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered.

    Online Application Form


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