Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV


  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 1. GENERAL [8000 - 8899.50]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

CHAPTER 9.5. California Poet Laureate [8760 - 8765]
  ( Chapter 9.5 added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 206, Sec. 2. )


(a) The position of California Poet Laureate is hereby established.

(b) The California Poet Laureate shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate from a list of three nominees provided by the Arts Council garnered through the following process:

(1) The council shall establish a panel of three literary experts, which may include any of the following:

(A) Literature professors and teachers, including professional poets teaching in such programs as California Poets in the Schools and other arts in schools programs.

(B) Public and private arts organizations that have a significant literary component.

(C) Professional poets.

(D) Boards and directors of literary organizations.

(E) Literary critics.

(F) Others deemed by the director to have expertise in contemporary American poetry.

(2) (A) The panel shall solicit nominations from a broad array of literary sources and individuals, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(i) University and college literature departments.

(ii) Literary organizations, societies, and centers.

(iii) Poetry book publishers and poetry editors.

(iv) Directors of poetry reading series.

(v) Independent book sellers specializing in poetry.

(B) The panel shall make every effort to ensure that information regarding the solicitation of nominations is broadly distributed.

(3) The council may establish other rules and regulations regarding the nomination process and expend funds for those purposes.

(c) Each nominee for California Poet Laureate submitted by the Arts Council to the Governor shall have resided in California for at least 10 years, have a significant body of published work, and be widely considered to be a poet of stature.

(d) A poet laureate appointed pursuant to this section shall serve for a term of two years, and may not serve more than two terms.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 206, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


The Arts Council may establish an appropriate stipend for the California Poet Laureate and shall provide for the payment of the poet laureate’s expenses incurred in fulfilling his or her responsibilities as set forth in this chapter and as established by the council. Additionally, the council may make available other funds for activities that the council and the California Poet Laureate mutually agree to undertake, including, but not limited to, the lease of facilities for readings and the acquiring of insurance therefor, and other similar activities.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 206, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


The California Poet Laureate shall, as a condition of the appointment, assume the following minimum responsibilities:

(a) Provide a minimum of six public readings during his or her two-year term endeavoring to ensure that people in all geographic regions of the state have reasonable access to at least one reading during the course of the term.

(b) Undertake a specific project that shall last through the term, agreed to by the California Poet Laureate and the council, but whose goal will be to bring the poetic arts to Californians and to California students who might otherwise have little opportunity to be exposed to poetry. The California Poet Laureate may, and is encouraged to, coordinate his or her project with any similar project being undertaken by the current United States’ Poet Laureate.

(c) Any other reasonable activities as agreed to mutually by the California Poet Laureate and the council.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 206, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


The Arts Council shall, commencing in 2010 and every 10 years thereafter, and with the agreement of the past California Poets Laureate and their representatives, publish or cause to be published an anthology featuring examples of the work of the poets laureate of the past decade.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 206, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


The council may solicit and receive gifts, donations, bequests, grants of funds, or any other revenues, from public or private sources, and expend those moneys to increase the stipend of the California Poet Laureate and for any other purpose it deems necessary to implement this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 206, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV