Watsonville Poet Laureate

The 2022 - 2024 Watsonville Poet Laureate Is Robert. P. (Bob) Gómez

Learn more about the current Watsonville Poet Laureate Robert. P. (Bob) Gómez. 

Watch the proclamation from the mayor and inaugural poem

Curious what our Poet Laureate has been up to?

Hear Bob Gomez speak at Zoom Forward#79 - Listen to the recording here

Read an interview with Bob Gomez in "Poet for the People" by Olga Rosales Salinas from Voices of Monterey Bay.

Establishment of the Watsonville Poet Laureate Position

The Board of Library Trustees of the Watsonville Public Library approved the establishment of the position of the Watsonville Poet Laureate, commencing in January 2022, to elevate the art of poetry in the City of Watsonville and to help celebrate the literary arts. 

The selected Watsonville Poet Laureate will be appointed by the Mayor via a proclamation at a city council meeting an serve a two year term with a small honorarium.  (The Poet Laureate Guidelines are available in Spanish also). 


Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by other city residents to be the Watsonville Poet Laureate through an application made available at the Watsonville Public Library.

πŸ–‹οΈ Print out the Poet Laureate Application (in English or Spanish) and submit all relevant materials directly to the library. Please address the application packet to Alicia Martinez, Library Director, 275 Main Street, Suite #100, Watsonville, California, 95076.
πŸ–‹οΈ Apply and submit all your supplemental materials online -  Poet Laureate application online form. You will need to have a google account to do so. 

Eligibility Criteria / Qualifications

• The Watsonville Poet Laureate will be available to serve a two year term
  The individual will be a current Watsonville/Freedom resident who has lived in the city for no less than one year, and continue to live in the city throughout the appointment. "
  The individual must have achieved a level of recognition through one of the following
            a. published book(s) - excluding self-published and vanity presses
            b. a variety of journals and media 
            c. events/community involvement
            d. have received recognition in the field, and/or
            e. demonstrate literary excellence
  The poet must have demonstrated a commitment to and a passion for promoting awareness of poetry and whose work (literary or otherwise) demonstrates a commitment to social justice, equity, and diversity. 
  The individual must be 18 years of age and older 


β˜™ Represent the City of Watsonville and the art of poetry through outreach.
β˜™ Act as a resource for poetry and literary activities of the Watsonville Public Library
β˜™ Read poems at ceremonial events (examples could include at the unveiling of a new building or bridge that will benefit the community), at City Council or other public meetings.
β˜™ Champion the art of poetry and the spoken word in the city in person and on social media.
β˜™ Encourage appreciation of the art form and creative expression by a wide-range of city residents, including youth.
β˜™ Celebrate the city’s cultural heritage
β˜™ Attend literary and other cultural events in the city as appropriate.
β˜™ Able to give 5-10 public readings and workshops that are free and open to the public, including visits to schools and/or events for young people.

Application to serve on the Poet Laureate Committee

Those interested in serving on the committee to select the Watsonville Poet Laureate should fill out this application and submit it to the library director.