OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Arts Council is accepting nominations for the state's next poet laureate through Aug. 31. Nominations for the honorary position, appointed by the governor, are accepted from poetry societies, libraries, local arts and humanities councils, colleges and universities, and writers' groups.

Every two years, the Oklahoma Arts Council administers the nominating process for the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate program on behalf of the Office of the Governor. Submitted nominations are reviewed by a committee coordinated by the Oklahoma Arts Council that consists of poets, university professors, former state poets laureate, and others with expertise in the field of poetry.

A recommendation from the committee is provided to the governor. The individual selected by the governor will serve in the honorary position during 2021 and 2022.

Oklahoma's heritage of poets laureate dates back to 1923. State lawmakers codified the honorary position in 1994, formalizing the governor's appointment authority.

A tradition that originated hundreds of years ago, poets laureate have historically been conferred by governments to make public appearances and to promote a greater appreciation of poetry through readings, workshops, lectures, and other literary events. In addition to the United States poet laureate, most U.S. states have a poets laureate program.

Eligible organizations interested in presenting the Oklahoma State poet laureate are encouraged to learn about grant funding available from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

A nominations packet with guidelines and a nomination form is available at arts.ok.gov. For more information, contact Joel Gavin at 405-521-2037 or joel.gavin@arts.ok.gov.

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