The City of Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Program was established in 2005 to inspire and remind the local community of the power and beauty of poetry and the spoken word.

The Poet Laureate is a local resident and distinguished poet tasked with seeking to advance awareness of and appreciation for literary arts and humanities within the greater Santa Barbara community. The Poet Laureate represents and celebrates the diversity and history of Santa Barbara. As a spokesperson for the City’s literary community, the Poet Laureate shall endeavor to promote the artistic achievements of the City of Santa Barbara and shall actively participate in ceremonial, educational, and cultural activities in the community at various times throughout his or her term of service.

The next Poet Laureate will be selected in April of 2019 and nominations will begin January 2019.

This July 2018, three of our Past Poets Laureate traveled to Ireland! Learn more about their adventure.

The Santa Barbara Public Library serves as the home of the Poet Laureate Program and hosts the Santa Barbara Poetry Series. Learn more about the library's events supporting the series and the literary arts as well as other artistic disciplines here.

Current Poet Laureate

2017-2019 | Enid Osborn

Past Poets Laureate

2015-2017 | Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

2013-2015 | Chryss Yost

2011-2013 | Paul Willis

2009-2011 | David Starkey

2007-2009 | Perie Longo

2005-2007 | Barry Spack