In 1933, the Texas Legislature created the post of Texas Poet Laureate. The post was filled continuously until 1981. Since then the post has been vacant all but a handful of years. The last Poet Laureate left the post in 1994. This project is an effort to convince Austin that the post is important and that Texans want someone in the post.
What You Can Do
Many times moving government is a sysiphian task. Between the competition for funds, entrenched interests and political agendas, moving government can be difficult at best. In this case, it's a much simpler task. The position has existed since 1933 --for over half of Texas' history. The position does not carry a stipend. It does require the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House to assemble a committee to designate an "outstanding and recognized poet" to fill the roll.
Since the post is vacant, it'll require you to push our elected officials. Even though he doesn't directly cause the position to be filled, the Governor is the state's top elected official, so start by contacting him. If you've got the time, contact the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House and your Senator and Representative. We've got email addresses, phone numbers and addresses listed below. If you're feeling energetic, send us an email letting us know you support this, what city you live in, and who've you've contacted in Austin. We'll keep track and let Austin know how many people have contacted us.
Do you run a website or a print publication? Let us know. The Word: the monthly guide to the arts in Dallas will be published an editorial on this issue. And it's available for republication.
Sign the Petition and Nominate Someone