State Poet Selection Guidelines

Welcome to the selection of the next Nebraska State Poet for the 2025-2029 term! Nominations can be submitted from July 1 to August 16.

Here you will find the guidelines for nominating our next state poet. Please read through all the guidelines before preparing your nomination.

Here is a quick introduction to the role of Nebraska State Poet:


To promote and encourage appreciation of poetry and literary life in Nebraska while inspiring an emerging generation of new writers.


The Nebraska State Poet will serve a five-year renewable term.  Duties include:


The Nebraska State Poet must be a legal, full-time Nebraska resident for at least three years prior to the nomination deadline, must maintain Nebraska residency during the full term of office, must pass a standard background check, and must be available to travel statewide and give presentations. Nominees will not be considered until they indicate their consent to the nomination.

Review Criteria

This designation recognizes and honors a Nebraska poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment.  The Nebraska State Poet will be selected based on artistic excellence, exemplary professionalism demonstrated by significant publications and special honors, an established history of community service in the advancement of poetry in Nebraska, and the ability to present poetry and interact effectively with a public audience.

Nomination Process

Nominations may be made by any organization or individual in the state of Nebraska. Self-nominations are allowed.

Step 1:

Send a query by email to the attention of Anne Alston, Program Specialist at the Nebraska Arts Council, at  Please enter ‘State Poet Nomination’ in the subject line. Your email should include the name of the poet you wish to nominate.

If that poet has not yet been nominated, you will receive permission to proceed to the next step of the nomination process. If the poet has already been nominated, you will be asked for a letter of support.

Step 2:

If you receive permission to proceed, the second step is to complete an online nomination form.  The nomination must include:

  • One-page narrative, uploaded into the online system as a PDF file, describing the nominee’s qualifications for Nebraska State Poet, including experience as a Nebraska writer, efforts to advance poetry in Nebraska, and ability to interact with the public in promoting poetry and writing.
  • Three (3) letters of support or recommendation uploaded into the online system.
  • Nominator contact information.

State Poet nominations will be collected and reviewed using the Nebraska Arts Council’s SlideRoom online application site.  Nominators and poet nominees will register (sign in with a user-created name and password) and submit materials using this site. NAC staff will provide instructions for accessing Slideroom Nebraska State Poet forms.

The link to the NAC SlideRoom website is:

Complete SlideRoom instructions for nominators or poet nominees are located under the Guides/Applicants section of the SlideRoom website or by using this link:

Nominations must be submitted online no later than midnight CDT on August 16, 2024.

Selection Process

A selection committee assembled and convened by the Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission will review all nominations, select finalists, attend private presentations by finalists, and make recommendations to the Governor.  The committee is comprised of five individuals who are established members of Nebraska’s literary, cultural, educational and academic communities.  The Governor will make the final State Poet selection.


Statewide presentations by the State Poet will be funded in part through the Nebraska Arts Council’s Nebraska Touring Program and Humanities Nebraska’s Speakers Bureau.  An annual stipend will also be provided to support a statewide project, designed by the State Poet, and participation in programming led by the Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. The stipend will be $10,000 annually for the first two years of the term, with possible adjustments during the final three years, subject to sponsoring organization budgets.

Poet Consent

When a poet has been nominated, the poet nominee will also use the online service to consent to the nomination and provide additional material for review. Consent documents must include:

  • One-page statement of intent answering these questions: What is your vision for the role of Nebraska State Poet?  If selected, what would you like to do or accomplish in that role?  This will be uploaded into the online system as a PDF file.
  • Poet nominee’s résumé, including education, publications, awards, and recent activities such as poetry readings, workshops, interviews, and school visits.  This will be uploaded into the online system as a PDF file.
  • Three (3) samples of poet nominee’s published writing and uploaded into the online system.
  • Nominee contact information and verification of program guidelines compliance.

Additional Information

Nebraska Arts Council: Contact Anne Alston, Program Specialist or (402)595-2196

Humanities Nebraska: Contact Erika Hamilton, Director of Literary Programs or (402) 474-2131 ext. 104