Nebraska State Poet Nominations Due August 16th

June 28, 2024

FOR MORE INFORMATION:                            
Sam Hennigh, Communications Manager

Nebraska State Poet Nominations Due August 16th

The Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission are seeking nominations for the next Nebraska State Poet. This designation recognizes and honors a Nebraska poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. Nominations must be submitted online no later than midnight CDT on August 16, 2024.

Nominations may be made by any organization or individual in the state of Nebraska. To be considered, nominees must consent to the nomination. All nominations will be reviewed by the State Poet Selection Committee, which is made up of five individuals who are established members of Nebraska’s literary, cultural, educational and academic communities. After the committee selects finalists, the governor will make the final selection.

State Poet nominations will be collected and reviewed online only. The first step is to contact to verify if the poet in question has been nominated already. After the nominator has received a response to their query, the second step is to complete the online nomination form using the Nebraska Arts Council’s SlideRoom application site. The site includes complete instructions for submitting nomination materials.

The Nebraska State Poet will be chosen based on artistic excellence, exemplary professionalism demonstrated by significant publications and special honors, an established history of community service in the advancement of poetry in Nebraska, and the ability to present poetry and interact effectively with a public audience. In addition, the State Poet must be a legal, full-time resident for at least three years prior to the nomination deadline and must maintain Nebraska residence dur­ing his or her full term of office.

Once selected, the Nebraska State Poet will serve a five-year renewable term as an advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature in Nebraska. Duties include giving public presentations and readings, leading workshops and discussions, and providing outreach in schools, libraries, literary festivals, and various venues in rural and urban communities throughout the state.

Statewide presentations will be funded in part through the Nebraska Arts Council’s Nebraska Touring Program and the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau. An annual stipend will also be provided to support a statewide project, designed by the State Poet, and participation in programming led by the Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. The stipend will be $10,000 annually for the first two years of the term, with possible adjustments during the final three years, subject to sponsoring organization budgets.

The position of Nebraska Poet Laureate was established in 1921 when John G. Neihardt was appointed by the Legislature. In 1982, William Kloefkorn was appointed Nebraska State Poet by Governor Charles Thone. Kloefkorn served as State Poet for more than 25 years until his death in May 2011. In November 2013, Governor Dave Heineman appointed Twyla Hansen as Nebraska State Poet. When her term ended in December 2018, Governor Pete Ricketts appointed Matt Mason as State Poet. Mason’s service ends in December 2024.

For more information about the Nebraska State Poet selection process, visit State Poet Selection Guidelines – Nebraska Arts Council or State Poet Nomination Guidelines – Humanities Nebraska. Humanities Nebraska is a private nonprofit with a mission to help people explore what connects us and makes us human. Humanities Nebraska is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, an appropriation from the Nebraska Legislature, private donations, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, a public-private partnership with state dollars matching private dollars to benefit the arts and humanities in Nebraska.

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