Arizona Commission on the Arts Launches Poet Laureate Nomination Process

Arizona Commission on the Arts

PHOENIX (October 3, 2012). The Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, today launches the nomination process for the inaugural Arizona Poet Laureate.

At the start of the last legislative session, Arizona was one of only eight states without a poet laureate. The Arts Commission and the Arizona literary community worked in close partnership with State Senator Al Melvin during the Fiftieth Legislature’s second regular session, to put forth a bill establishing a poet laureate post for the State of Arizona. On May 11, 2012, Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1348 into law, and October marks the beginning of the nomination, review and selection process.

Jaime Dempsey, Deputy Director of the Arts Commission, said of the process, “It is our hope that the appointed Arizona Poet Laureate will champion the art of American poetry, inspire an emerging generation of literary artists, and educate Arizonans about poets and authors who have influenced our state through creative literary expression.”

The bill specifies that the appointed poet laureate will serve a term of two years; will offer public readings throughout the year, in both urban and rural communities in various regions of the state; and will pursue a major literary project over the course of the appointment term.

The Arizona Poet Laureate will be provided with an annual honorarium of $2,500 to offset travel and so that he/she is able to actively serve the broadest constituency of Arizonans, who live, learn and work in urban, rural and suburban areas of the state. The honorarium will be disbursed from the Arizona Poet Laureate Fund, which consists of private monies donated by individuals, organizations or businesses – raised by the Arts Commission and its statewide literary partners.

Interested parties may nominate themselves or others for the position of Arizona Poet Laureate through a process managed by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The initial deadline for nominations is November 9, 2012. To review details and information regarding the nomination/application and selection process, visit

“We would like to recognize and thank Arizona Senator Al Melvin, who introduced the bill and shepherded it through the legislative process, and to our partners in arts advocacy, the Arizona Citizens for the Arts for helping to see this bill through to success,” said Bob Booker, Executive Director.

Read the bill here.

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts
One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is an agency of the State of Arizona that supports a statewide arts network. The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports access to quality arts and arts education opportunities for all Arizona citizens; the development and retention of statewide jobs in the nonprofit arts, culture and education sectors; and increased economic impact in local communities through arts-based partnerships that develop tax and small business revenue.

For more information about the grants, services and programs of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, visit

We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

Poetry Out Loud Gives Young Poets New Opportunities

Each week here at Superstition Review, we like to showcase the talents of our interns. This week’s piece comes from Advertising Coordinator Christine Peters.

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national poetry contest in which high school students have the chance to test their poetry prowess. Young poets around the country are preparing for the contest, which takes place at the school, region, state, and national levels. The aim of POL is to teach students about history and literature while building confidence and public speaking skills. It is a creative approach to integrating the arts into the standard curriculum; it fosters empathy, appreciation for the arts of poetry and performance, and self-confidence.

Created in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, POL is administered through the U.S. State Arts Agencies. POL provides all of the necessary materials to the schools, free of charge, at the beginning of August. Students, with the support of their teachers, study and memorize poetry in order to prepare for competitions at the school level. In early spring, winners from the school level move on to regional and state competitions. In mid-May, winners advance to the national level to compete in Washington, DC.

This is the type of investment that has the potential to enrich our society; by investing in the arts, in our schools, in our youth, and in our future, we build on traits that the standard curriculum cannot even begin to cover. The program supports art education by teaching students about the inner-workings of poetry and performance. It supports our schools by creating links between history and literature. Since many of the competitions take place on university campuses, POL exposes students to the world of high education. Furthermore, it prepares individuals for personal success and provides them with confidence and public speaking skills that will carry them through their education.