On November 18, 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved the establishment of the position of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, to elevate poetry in the consciousness of Santa Clara County residents and to help celebrate the literary arts. SVCREATES administers this program in partnership with the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) and Poetry Center San José.
The Poet Laureate is an honorary two-year position, in service to the community. The Poet Laureate will be formally appointed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, acting on a recommendation determined through an artistic and community panel selection process coordinated by SVCREATES.
During their term, the Poet Laureate will act as an advocate for poetry, literature, and the arts; and contribute to Santa Clara County’s poetry and literary legacy through public readings and participation in civic events.
Our current Santa Clara County Poet Laureate is Tshaka Campbell who is an accomplished artist and performer who has authored four books (Tarman, Muted Whispers, Tunnel Vision, and Stuff) and three music albums (One, Bloodlines, and Skin vol.1). He has toured internationally, and has been featured at theatres from the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York to the poetry Café in London England. Campbell has collaborated on a number of musical projects in the House, Jazz, and Blues genres, as well as national commercials. He continues to ask the world to “listen different.”
Learn more about the process and apply to be the SCC Poet Laureate 2024! The deadline to apply is September 22, 2023.
Did you know that Santa Clara County also has a Youth Poet Laureate Program? The Santa Clara County Youth Poet Laureate Program is meant to inspire, to teach, and to be enjoyed by audiences across the county, and perhaps, the country and world. Talented Santa Clara County writers (ages 13-18) are invited to learn more and think about applying for the 2024 program. The Laureate earns an educational scholarship! The Laureate will, and all the Finalists are invited to, serve as ambassadors for literacy, arts and youth expression with ongoing opportunities for performances, projects, and peer support.
Want to get some poetry inspiration? Try this Introduction to Contemporary Poetry!