In keeping with the SA2020 goal of turning San Antonio into a renowned creative community, on April 3, 2012, Mayor Julián Castro appointed Dr. Carmen Tafolla as the city’s first Poet Laureate. The appointment of Dr. Tafolla made San Antonio the first major city in Texas to appoint a poet laureate and a model city for other local governments.
Since Dr. Tafolla’s appointment, a greater appreciation and understanding of poetry has resonated throughout San Antonio. The appointment of a poet laureate has enhanced the city’s literacy initiative, providing opportunities to preserve and express local culture through written and spoken word. It has garnered connectivity among local literacy organizations, writers, poets and the general public, expanding public awareness about the literary arts.
Nominations for the City of San Antonio’s Poet Laureate occur every two years and are solicited from the San Antonio community. After the solicitation process has closed, a selection panel of renowned scholarly writers, from around the country, review all nominations and supporting credentials to include poet’s personal biography, academic and scholarly achievements, and publication history, before recommending a new appointee. The selected candidate is then appointed by the mayor.
Once appointed, the duty of the San Antonio Poet Laureate is to promote poetry and the literary arts. This is accomplished by developing and creating innovative and inspiring public events and programs in conjunction with local organizations and the Department of Arts & Culture. In addition to the development of programs, the Poet Laureate makes special appearances and attends various functions throughout the two year term.
Learn more about the City of San Antonio’s Poet Laureates
Promoting Poetry & Literacy