Are You the Next Poet Laureate?

Seeking the Next Poet Laureate

San Mateo County is seeking the next Poet Laureate for 2019-2020. The new Poet Laureate should have a passion for poetry and a commitment to making poetry accessible to all residents of San Mateo County. The Poet Laureate will be a two-year position which includes a $5000 yearly stipend.

Current Poet Laureate Lisa Rosenberg, opens a new window will complete her term in 2018. During her tenure as Poet Laureate, Rosenberg created the Spoken Art project, opens a new window as a way to increase recognition for the county’s poets and visual artists alike. Spoken Art offers a springboard for new writings from San Mateo County’s vibrant artistic community.

You must develop a feeling for these symbols / that crawl across a page, for the text overrun ...
“Introduction to Methods of Mathematical Physics” is from A Different Physics (c) 2018 Lisa Rosenberg, from Red Mountain Press

About the Position

In 2013, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, opens a new window approved the establishment of the post of San Mateo County Poet Laureate to elevate and celebrate the literary arts and their roles in public life.

Upon recommendation of the San Mateo County Poet Laureate Advisory Committee, co-chaired by San Mateo County Supervisors Warren Slocum, opens a new window and Carole Groom, opens a new window, the Board of Supervisors appointed Caroline Goodwin, opens a new window as its first Poet Laureate in October 2013. Lisa Rosenberg followed in 2016. The Poet Laureate program is staffed by San Mateo County Libraries.

Eligibility Criteria

The San Mateo County Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador and advocate for poetry, literature and the arts; contributes to San Mateo County’s poetry and literary legacy through public readings and participation in civic events; and leads a community project to make poetry more accessible to people in their everyday lives. 

Applicants for the position of San Mateo Poet Laureate must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Available to serve a two-year term, commencing in January 2019.
  • A San Mateo County resident for three years.
  • Published or otherwise recognized for poetry.


  • Represent San Mateo County and the art of poetry through outreach activities related to poetry.
  • Present appropriate works at a minimum of four selected County-sponsored events during each year, including events involving schools and youth.
  • Open the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meetings with a poem every quarter.
  • Propose and lead a community project throughout their term.

How to Apply

If you meet the eligibility criteria, please consider applying below or download the application if you prefer. Applications are being accepted now through 5:00 PM on Friday, August 31, 2018. The 2019-2020 San Mateo County Poet Laureate will be announced in October, 2018.

Are you a fan of poetry? Share with us a few lines of your favorite poem.