Showcasing the Arts


Kentucky Poet Laureate Guidelines


2019-2020 Kentucky Poet Laureate Guidelines

Nomination Deadline: Oct. 1, 2018

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the Kentucky Poet Laureate guidelines and instructions before accessing the online application.

Like all programs of the Kentucky Arts Council, the Kentucky Poet Laureate Program is guided by the arts council’s core values. Successful nominations will embody these core values, and all nominators are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting a nomination.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Kentucky Poet Laureate Program is to honor outstanding Kentucky writers and promote participation in the literary arts of the state.


Who May be Nominated

Eligible nominees must meet the following requirements:


Past Kentucky Poets Laureate are ineligible for nomination.

Past Poets Laureate

Joy Bale Boone, Lillie D. Chaffin, Soc Clay, Dale Faughn, James Baker Hall, Edward G. Hill, Edwin Carlisle Litsey, George Ella Lyon, Jim Wayne Miller, Tom Mobley, Maureen Morehead, Sena Jeter Naslund, J.T.C. Noe, Gurney Norman, Agnes O'Rear, James H. Patton, Jr., Lee Pennington, Louise Scott Phillips, Henry E. Pilkenton, Paul Salyers, Frederick Smock, James Still, Jesse Hilton Stuart, Joe Survant, Richard Taylor, Jane Gentry Vance, Frank X Walker, Lowell Allen Williams

Who May Nominate

Kentucky Poet Laureate nominations may come from an individual or organization within or outside of Kentucky.

Program Description

The Kentucky General Assembly established the Kentucky Poet Laureate position in 1991. The Governor appoints the poet laureate for a two-year term. The word poet in the position's title is interpreted in its broadest sense to include people whose accomplishments are in any of the recognized literary forms, including poetry, fiction, biographical work, creative nonfiction, playwriting, etc. The Kentucky Poet Laureate's minimum duties over the two years of office are:

The Kentucky Poet Laureate holds the position from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2020, and will serve without salary. The Kentucky Poet Laureate receives a $6,000 honorarium to cover travel expenses during the two-year term.

Performance Expectations

Nominations will be assessed using the following performance expectations:

Program Support

The Kentucky Arts Council will offer the following support to ensure that program standards and goals are met:

How to Make a Nomination

Following the deadline, your nomination will be reviewed by the program director, who may contact you if clarification is needed.

Program Timeline

Nomination deadline

Review of nominations by KAC committee

Governor's approval of nomination

Announcement of Poet Laureate

Public presentation by Poet Laureate

Oct. 1, 2018, 4:30 p.m. Eastern time

November 2018

As soon as possible after committee makes its recommendation

Jan. 1, 2019

April 24, 2019 – Kentucky Writers' Day

Nomination Deadline

The nomination and supporting materials must be: 1) officially postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service, or 2) delivered by a shipping service (e.g., UPS, Federal Express, etc.) with a paid receipt on or before the deadline date, or 3) hand delivered to the arts council office no later than 4:30 p.m. Eastern time Oct. 1, 2018. If the arts council does not receive the printed and signed nomination with supporting materials by the deadline date via one of the three delivery options, your nomination will be considered ineligible. Packages dated with internal postage meters and nominations sent by FAX or email will not be accepted. Please be aware that your post office may not automatically use a dated postmark. It is highly recommended that you request hand cancellation with the date included.

Note: Due to postal regulations, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces must be given directly to a postal clerk at a post office, not dropped in a postal box.


There are no appeals in this category.

For More Information

The arts council welcomes all questions regarding this program and nomination form. For more information on this program, contact:

Tamara Coffey
Individual Artist Director
888-833-278 (toll free)


Page last updated: August 10, 2018
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