Poetry Out a Window

Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani presents Poetry Out a Window. Photo by Ellie Esterowitz.

Salem, Oregon – The Oregon Poet Laureate Program is now accepting nominations for the state’s next poet laureate. The program is funded by the Oregon Cultural Trust and administered by Oregon Humanities.

Over the course of a two-year-term, the Oregon Poet Laureate fosters the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses central issues relating to the humanities and heritage and reflects on public life in Oregon. Nominations for the position will be accepted through Jan. 8, 2024. Poets may nominate themselves. The next poet laureate will begin their term in May 2024.

Anis Mojgani, Oregon’s current poet laureate, says, “A poet is a witness who imagines, and through these acts gives us permission to do the same. For the times we’re in, we must be powerfully imaginative, so to have for Oregon a position to foster and rally this imagining is a beautiful importance and gift for our state.”

Previous Oregon Poets Laureate include Elizabeth Woody of Warm Springs, Kim Stafford of Portland, the late Peter Sears of Corvallis and Lawson Inada of Medford.

During their term, the poet laureate will participate in a minimum of 10 public readings or other events per year in settings around the state, demonstrating the value and importance of poetry and creative expression to business, community and state leaders. The poet laureate receives an annual honorarium in addition to an annual travel subsidy.

Nominees must be current residents of Oregon and have lived in the state for at least 10 years. They must be publicly recognized as poets and well-regarded for excellence in their work; have a significant body of published or performed work; and agree to the conditions and the term of the appointment. To nominate a poet, fill out the online nomination form at oregonpoetlaureate.org. Poets of all genres and styles will be considered.

The Poet Laureate Program is funded by the Cultural Trust through collaboration   with the state’s five cultural partners: Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities and the State Historic Preservation Office.

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee who will recommend finalists to the Governor for final selection of the next poet laureate.

The Cultural Trust is an innovative, statewide private-public program that utilizes a unique tax credit to raise significant funds to support and protect Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage. In addition to the creation of a permanent endowment, funds are distributed annually through three multifaceted, wide-ranging grant programs. No other state in the nation has a program like the Cultural Trust, which has been ranked with the bottle bill and the vote-by-mail bill as among Oregon’s most forward-thinking public policy measures. More information at culturaltrust.org.

Oregon Humanities connects people and communities through conversation, storytelling and participatory programs to inspire understanding and collaborative change. More information about our programs and publications—which include the Conversation Project, Consider This, Humanity in Perspective, Public Program Grants, The Detour radio show and Oregon Humanities magazine—can be found at oregonhumanities.org. Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Cultural Trust.