Mayor announces San Antonio's inaugural Poet Laureate

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro announced that the city is searching for its inaugural Poet Laureate, setting the stage for the city's first-ever official poet.

Watch our video of the Poet Laureate Announcement from NOWCastSA on Vimeo.


Texas has appointed a Poet Laureate since 1932 but San Antonio will be the first major Texas city to appoint a Poet Laureate.

During a press conference at Bonham Academy Nov. 18, Castro said he grew up with an appreciation for poetry from reading his mother’s poems. 

“Poetry speaks to our common humanity and draws us in as a community….it is able to describe beautifully in words what sometimes straightforward sentences cannot. Poetry is special. It always has been,” Castro said. “San Antonio has always been a great repository of wonderful literary talent and creativity. The beautiful thing is—it’s authentic—it comes from the heart.”

Castro said the Poet Laureate goes hand in hand with the city's SA2020 initiatives

According to the Library of Congress, the United States Poet Laureate was established in 1937 and several United States cities select a Poet Laureate. 

During the Mayor’s announcement, Bonham students read their poems along with local poets Carmen Tafolla, Marian Aitches and Jenny Brown.

Serving as San Antonio's official poet, the San Antonio Poet Laureate will be an honorary position whose role will be to promote the literary arts and literacy in the community.

The person who is selected will serve a two-year term and receive an honorarium of $3,000 per year. Duties will include:

  • Generating public interest in the arts
  • Promoting literacy within the community and preserving the art of poetry
  • A minimum of three city sponsored public appearances for each year of service
  • Assist in celebrating and inspiring the reading and writing in our community


Nominations will end Jan. 18. Nomination forms can be found at

For information visit

All inquiries should be directed to Diana Hidalgo at the Office of Cultural Affairs via email at