Colorado Poet Laureate
Nominations for the next Colorado Poet Laureate are open November 1, 2022 through February 1, 2023. Chosen by the Governor, the Colorado Poet Laureate will serve a four-year term beginning in July 2023. The Poet Laureate position was created to promote an appreciation of poetry in Colorado, to honor outstanding Colorado poets, and to serve as an active advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature by participating in readings and other events at schools, libraries, literary festivals, and the State Capitol.
The Poet Laureate will also provide the Governor with an annual account of the impact and success of the Colorado Poet Laureate program. Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book and Colorado Creative Industries will annually supply the Poet Laureate with a $5,000 honorarium and up to $5,000 to cover public presentation travel expenses.
The selection of the Poet Laureate will be based on artistic excellence, a demonstrated history of community service in the advancement of poetry, and the ability to present poetry effectively. A panel of former laureates and poetry leaders will review nominations and make recommendations to the Governor, who will make the final selection.
Any organization or individual may nominate a poet for consideration. Nominators should work closely with their nominees to submit the nomination form and information requested. Self-nomination is also an option. The Colorado Poet Laureate must be a legal, full-time Colorado resident for at least three years prior to the nomination deadline. In addition, the Poet Laureate must remain a resident of Colorado during the term of office and pass a standard background check. Nominations must be submitted no later than February 1, 2023 to Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book via Submittable.
On Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at the State Capitol, Governor Jared Polis introduced award-winning poet, artist, and writer Bobby LeFebre as Colorado’s new Poet Laureate.
“Bobby LeFebre has an amazing ability to empower and connect communities through the wisdom of his words; that is why we are confident he will make a fantastic Poet Laureate,” said Governor Jared Polis. “He embodies the spirit of a ‘Colorado for All’ where everyone is included, no matter their background. I know he will be a strong advocate for the arts and art education as a way to bring us together.”
Bobby LeFebre is a two-time Grand Slam Champion, a National Poetry Slam Finalist, an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, and a two-time TEDx speaker. He has performed at hundreds of cultural events, social actions, detention centers, conferences, and colleges and universities across the United States and abroad. He is also co-founder of Cafe Cultura, an award-winning nonprofit organization that utilizes poetry as a tool for youth literacy and educational and cultural development.
The Poet Laureate serves a four-year term and is chosen by the Governor through a program administered by Colorado Creative Industries and Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book. Margaret Coval, Colorado Humanities Executive Director, said, “We have seen how poetry can build bridges of understanding. We look forward to working with Bobby LeFebre as he creates opportunities for Coloradans to experience the power of poetry in their lives.”
To learn more about Bobby LeFebre and read some of his recent work, visit https://twitter.com/BobbyLefebre or https://www.instagram.com/bobbylefebre/
Bobby LeFebre is Colorado’s 8th Poet Laureate, following in the footsteps of these greats:
Nellie Burget Miller (1923-1952)
Margaret Clyde Robertson (1952-1954)
Milford E. Shields (1954)
Thomas Hornsby Ferril (1979-1988)
Joseph Hutchison (2014-2019)