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Montana's Poet Laureate

Guidelines, Checklist, and Selection Criteria for the Nominator to Compile the Application

The next guidelines will be available in 2019


To be accepted for consideration, nominations must include: One Complete Set of Nomination Materials, which must be provided using the following guidelines to allow all application materials to be collected for publication and binding services. Each Montana Poet Laureate panel reviewer will receive a bound volume containing the materials for every poet who has been nominated and who meets nomination criteria. 

Application materials may be offered via email attachments or saved to a disk or flash drive, or submitted on paper as long as the materials are typed [See guidelines]. Please offer complete materials in a single email, disk, flash drive or mailing. Please title each attachment with the poet’s name. 


Guidelines Checklist

  • DO NOT STAPLE any page in the set of nomination materials.
  • DO NOT USE plastic sleeves, cover sheets, comb or spiral binding, pocket folders or other presentation materials.
  • DO USE 8-1/2" x 11" white paper. Use one side only.
  • DO leave at least 1" margin on the left-hand side of the materials for binding purposes.
  • DO type all materials in 12-point type font or larger. 
  • Are you submitting all documents by the deadline? Be sure that all attached materials are identified with the Poet’s last name and Application Materials headers. Example: Browning Work Sample.doc; Browning Bio.doc; Browning Supplementals.pdf. All attached materials should be sent in a single email. NOTE: All ten poems should be saved as a single word or .pdf document. (The .pdf format will ensure the poems appear exactly as the poet intended. Many word formats are not universal and many can’t be opened by others.  Please use MSWord or save your text document as a PDF file) All supplemental reference materials should be saved as a single word or .pdf document. Questions? Please contact us by March 13th, 2015 for technical assistance questions. 


  • Have you submitted all paper or flash drive application materials via U.S. Mail, U.P.S. or Fed Ex? Remember all materials must be in the Montana Arts Council office by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2015. 
  • Special for Oral/Spoken Poetry: If your poet nominee is working in the Homeric, Lyric, Cowboy, or other Oral/Spoken Poetry genres, please supply audio or video of the poet performing AND transcripts of the poetry performed as a portion or the entirety of the 10 poem work samples [No more than 15 pages.] 
  • DO include (6) DVD/CD copies of the performance of live poetry with your mailed paper or flash drive nomination forms.
  • DO email the Montana Arts Council to alert them about live performance supplemental materials you'll be sending via mail to supplement your email submission.
  • Did you organize materials following the 1-7 sequence [see checklist]?
  • Did you provide copyright information where appropriate? All submissions become part of the public record. Both published and non-published poetry may be submitted.
  • Do provide the photographer's name. [The person who took the high quality headshot of your Poet Nominee] so that we can credit them in press releases.
  • Did you make a copy of your application [attach a copy of the checklist here as well] for your records?
  • Did you leave enough time for regular mail delivery? 


Deadline is Wednesday, April 1, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. This is NOT a postmark deadline. Emailed, mailed, or hand-delivered submissions must be complete and received by 5:00 p.m. MDT.


Application Materials Checklist

All supplemental materials should be combined into a single document [with each category of supplemental material titled and pasted into a single running document that doesn’t exceed 4 pages] and saved as a single MSWord or .pdf document.  

  1. Poet Nomination Form [signed by Poet Nominee].
  2. Nominator's Form [signed by the Nominator].
  3. Cover Letter [from Nominator]. Use no more than 2 pages to introduce your poet nominee, offer reasons why they meet all criteria, and offer examples of why they have advanced poetry in Montana
  4. Poet's Bio/Resume/Curriculum Vitae. Use no more than 2 pages [compiled by Poet].
  5. Supplemental Materials:
    • List of published books by the nominated poet. Additional lists regarding anthologies, magazines and other media, which include the work of the poet nominee
    • Poet’s Awards, Press Releases, Letters of Recommendation [Not required, but recommended. Use no more than 4 pages to address the criteria of exemplary professionalism.] These can be compiled by the Poet and Nominator. 
  6. Ten poems: use no more than 15 pages. Please offer the highest quality poems from any time period.
  7. Photograph of the Poet Nominee. Please offer a high quality digital or hard copy headshot [close-up shot] in either black and white or color. This is the photo that will be used for publicity purposes. Offer the photographer’s name so that they can be properly credited in press releases. 


Selection Criteria for 2015 Montana Poet Laureate 

How will Poet Laureate nominations be evaluated? The Poet Laureate will be chosen on the basis of three criteria:

  • Excellence as evidenced by the submitted poetry samples 
  • Exemplary professionalism as evidenced by an established history of substantial and significant publication in journals and books including at least one book of published poems or an alternate form of documentation such as DVD or CD of their poetic art form along with a transcript of the performance poetry, and any special honors, awards, fellowships, or other recognition. The 10 poem offerings should be of the highest quality and can be from any time period.
  • Advancement of poetry in Montana communities as evidenced by an established history of activity in Montana's literary community through readings, publications, public presentations and/or teaching.  







Montana Arts Council | 830 N. Warren Street, Helena, MT 59601 | P.O. Box 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201 | P: (406) 444-6430 | F: (406) 444-6548 | 

"State of the Arts" Newspaper | eNewsMontana's Arts Calendar | Montana's Cultural Treasures Guide

The Montana Arts Council is funded by the State of Montana and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
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