INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Pavley
   (Coauthors:  Assembly Members Aroner and Hertzberg)

                        JANUARY 18, 2001

   An act to add Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 8760) to
Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to the
California Poet Laureate, and making an appropriation therefor.


   AB 113, as introduced, Pavley.  California Poet Laureate.
   Existing law establishes the Arts Council and sets forth the
duties of the council in promoting the arts in the state.
   This bill would establish the position of California Poet
Laureate, who would be appointed for a specified term by the Governor
from a list of nominees garnered by the council through a specified
process, and who would perform specified duties.  It would provide
for a grant program for poetic artists, for the purpose of specific
poetic projects, according to guidelines and criteria established by
the council.
   This bill would establish the California Poetic Works Fund in the
State Treasury, to consist of moneys from specified sources.  Moneys
in the fund would be continuously appropriated to the council without
regard to fiscal years for the purposes of the bill.
   Vote:  2/3.  Appropriation:  yes.  Fiscal committee:  yes.
State-mandated local program:  no.


  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
   (a) It is widely acknowledged that the ability to read is
essential to the acquisition of a good education and to increase the
prospects of a productive life and that general literacy among our
people is essential to our reputation in the community of nations.
   (b) In the acknowledgement of this truth, the Governor and the
Legislature in recent years have invested heavily to ensure that all
California's children acquire excellent reading skills and have
engaged with students in reading programs and undertaken other
literacy programs and activities to ensure that the love and
enjoyment of books is a significant component of the education of
every child.
   (c) The arts generally have been shown to have a positive impact
on the ability of our children to learn, to create greater interest
in academic programs, and to enrich and enliven the great cultural
heritage of California.
   (d) California's poets have long been acknowledged as among the
most prestigious in the nation, and include numerous Nobel Prize,
Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and other significant award
recipients, and at least three United States' Poets Laureate.
California's poets also come from every ethnic, religious, and
geographic region of the state, and have often provided a great
source of inspiration to their communities, students and other young
people, and the people of California generally.
   (e) The California Poets in the Schools program, in which
professional poets work with children in Kindergarten through 12th
grade in almost every county in the state, has created great interest
in the poetic arts among California's children and youth.  This
interest is evidenced by the large number of reading series, chapbook
publications, poetry-based websites, which have the second largest
number of "hits" of all website types, and other poetic activities.
   (f) The United States, many states, and  many cities have
established the position of Poet Laureate, using vigorous and
competitive appointment procedures and requiring recipients to engage
in specific public projects.
  SEC. 2.  Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 8760) is added to
Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:


   8760.  (a) The position of California Poet Laureate is hereby
   (b) The California Poet Laureate shall be appointed by the
Governor from a list of three nominees provided by the Arts Council
garnered through the following process:
   (1) The council shall establish a panel of three literary experts,
which may include any of the following:
   (A) Literature professors and teachers, including professional
poets teaching in such programs as California Poets in the Schools
and other arts in schools programs.
   (B) Public and private arts organizations that have a significant
literary component.
   (C) Professional poets.
   (D) Boards and directors of literary organizations.
   (E) Literary critics.
   (F) Others deemed by the director to have expertise in
contemporary American poetry.
   (2) (A) The panel shall solicit nominations from a broad array of
literary sources and individuals, including, but not limited to, all
of the following:
   (i) University and college literature departments.
   (ii) Literary organizations, societies, and centers.
   (iii) Poetry book publishers and poetry editors.
   (iv) Directors of poetry reading series.
   (v) Independent book sellers specializing in poetry.
   (B) The panel shall make every effort to ensure that information
regarding the solicitation of nominations is broadly distributed.
   (3) The council may establish other rules and regulations
regarding the nomination process and expend funds for those purposes.

   (c) Each nominee for California Poet Laureate shall have resided
in California for at least 10 years, have a significant body of
published work, and be widely considered to be a poet of stature.
   (d) A poet laureate appointed pursuant to this section shall serve
for a term of two years, and may not serve more than two terms.
   8761.  The Arts Council shall establish an appropriate stipend for
the California Poet Laureate for the poet laureate's expenses
incurred in fulfilling his or her responsibilities as set forth in
this chapter and as established by the council.  Additionally, the
council may make available other funds for activities that the
council and the California Poet Laureate mutually agree to undertake,
such as the lease of facilities for readings and the acquiring of
insurance thererfor, and other similar activities.
   8762.  The California Poet Laureate shall, as a condition of the
appointment, assume the following minimum responsibilities:
   (a) Provide a minimum of six public readings during his or her two
year-term endeavoring to ensure that people in all geographic
regions of the state have reasonable access to at least one reading
during the course of the term.  Any proceeds from the readings shall
be deposited in the California Poetic Works Fund established pursuant
to Section 8765.
   (b) Undertake a specific project that shall last through the term,
agreed to by the California Poet Laureate and the council, but whose
goal will be to bring the poetic arts to Californians and to
California students who might otherwise have little opportunity to be
exposed to poetry.  The California Poet Laureate may, and is
encouraged to, coordinate his or her project with any similar project
being undertaken by the current United States' Poet Laureate.
   (c) Any other reasonable activities as agreed to mutually by the
California Poet Laureate and the council.
   8763.  The Arts Council shall, commencing in 2010 and every 10
years thereafter, and with the agreement of the past California Poets
Laureate and their representatives, publish or cause to be published
an anthology featuring examples of the work of the poets laureate of
the past decade.
   8764.  The Arts Council shall award grants to poetic artists who
apply for the purpose of specific poetic projects, according to
guidelines and criteria established by the council.
   8765.  (a) The California Poetic Works Fund is hereby created in
the State Treasury.  Notwithstanding Section 13340, moneys in the
fund are continuously appropriated to the Arts Council without regard
to fiscal years for the purposes of this chapter.
   (b) The fund shall consist of proceeds from the sales of works of
poets laureate, including anthologies published pursuant to Section
8763, and any other moneys provided from any public or private
   (c) The council may solicit and receive gifts, donations,
bequests, or grants of funds from public or private sources for the
purposes of this chapter.