The poet laureate is Anaheim's literary ambassador, helping to inspire appreciation of poetry and the arts in the city. The volunteer position is for a two-year term, 2022-2024.
Anaheim was the first city in Orange County to have a poet laureate and one of only a handful in California, including Los Angeles, Fresno and Santa Barbara.
A poet laureate serves as the official poet for a city, county, state or nation. The tradition goes back centuries. In America, the precursor to our nation’s poet laureate today dates back to 1937.
To be eligible for consideration as Anaheim’s poet laureate, applicants much be a published poet, have strong ties to the city for the past five years, be at least 21 years old and be able to give public poetry readings.
Anaheim’s poet laureate holds free workshops at Anaheim Public Libraries, leads poetry readings at city events and heads up community gatherings that promote poetry, literature and the arts.
Past Poet Laureate: Grant Hier
Grant Hier was Anaheim’s inaugural poet laureate and literary ambassador, working to connect our community through great writing.
His term ended on April 30, 2020.
During his tenure, he shared his love of poetry with Anaheim at public readings, library events, community gatherings and social media.
“The best poetry shows us who we are,” Hier says. “It broadens our perspective. It shows us how other people think and live and how much we have in common. And that builds compassion and community.”
Hier’s favorite poem? “Song of Myself” by American great Walt Whitman.
“I love it for its all-inclusiveness and tremendous heart,” he says. “He revolutionized poetry with his form.”