VERSE PRIZE: Colorado opens search for next state poet laureate


AURORA | Nominations are now open for Colorado’s poet laureate, one poet chosen for their writing skills as well as their ability to excite the public’s interest in the artform.

Since 2019, Bobby LeFebre has served as Colorado’s youngest poet laureate and is the first person of color to hold that position. His four-year term is scheduled to expire in 2023.

Organizations and individuals can submit nominations starting this week for the state’s premiere poet, who is chosen by the governor. Self-nominations are allowed.

“The Poet Laureate position was created to promote an appreciation of poetry in Colorado, to honor outstanding Colorado poets, and to serve as an active advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature by participating in readings and other events at schools, libraries, literary festivals, and the State Capitol,” a state news release said.

Former poet laureates and prominent poets will review nominees and make their recommendations to the governor. Candidates must have been a legal, full-time resident of Colorado for at least three years prior to the Feb. 1, 2023, nomination deadline, and must pass a background check and remain a resident during their tenure.

The poet laureate will receive a $5,000 annual honorarium and up to $5,000 to cover travel expenses from Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book and Colorado Creative Industries.

Colorado was one of the first states in the nation to appoint a poet laureate, according to the state. Alice Polk Hill became the first appointee in 1919, and LeFebre is the eighth person to serve in the role since Hill.

Nominations can be submitted here. More information about Colorado’s poet laureate can also be found at and


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