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Poet Laureate Richard (Dick) Brugger (2012 - 2014)

On January 3, 2012, the City of Auburn Council appointed the Auburn's first honorary Poet Laureate, Richard (Dick) Brugger. A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed and is invited to compose poems for City occasions and events. Marjorie Rommel and the Striped Water Poets of Auburn (organization of 36 local poets) submitted the nomination of Dick Brugger as the Poet Laureate an opportunity "to return poetry, reading, and all the literary arts to greater appreciation in Auburn". The application materials demonstrated Dick Brugger as a "a person of merit who is also an excellent communicator with a command of the craft and the best interests of poetry and the Auburn community at heart."

Dick Brugger Poet Laureate
Dick Brugger, photo by Lela Brugger

A catalyst for good will, Dick Brugger will represent the heart of our community in the honorary role of Poet Laureate. His poems are accessible, thought-provoking and often showcase Auburn. He is a published and award-winning poet and has many connections within the community that will help to bring additional awareness and recognition to the literary arts. His dedication to the art of poetry is widely known and respected and his lifetime of community service is a testament to his concern for the betterment of the City of Auburn. Dick Brugger will serve as Auburn's Poet Laureate from 2012 - 2015.

List of Published Work and Awards (PDF)

Compilation of poems by Dick Brugger (PDF)

Selection of Sample Poetry (All Poems Copyright of Dick Brugger)


What is the City of Auburn Poet Laureate Position?

The City of Auburn Poet Laureate was established by City Ordinance 6383 in 2011 and recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. The Poet Laureate also encourages appreciation of poetry and literary life in Auburn. Once a Poet Laureate program is established the Auburn Arts Commission will forward a recommendation to the Mayor for final selection and appointment.

What is the Term of Service and Compensation?

The term of service for the next Poet Laureate will be three years. The award is honorific. There is no financial compensation for the position.

Who is eligible to be nominated Poet Laureate of City of Auburn?

Individuals may nominate a poet for the Poet Laureate position by following the application process offered in this document. The public is encouraged to nominate poets from all walks of life, and all poetry forms are welcome. Nominations for Auburn's Poet Laureate will be accepted for poets who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Poet must be a resident of Auburn for at least one year.
  • Applicant and nominee must be at least 18 years old.
  • Poet must have produced work of the highest caliber and have contributed substantial service to the development of the literary arts as demonstrated by the submitted application.
  • Poet's submitted work samples may be on any topic; although consideration will be give to works representative of Auburn and its history. All poetry forms will be considered.
  • A poet may not self-nominate him or herself.
  • No award will be given posthumously.
  • Poet must not be a member or staff member of the current Auburn Arts Commission or City of Auburn or their immediate family or household.

What is the selection process for the Poet Laureate?

A panel drawn from members of the literary community will select three finalists from among the nominations. The three finalists will be submitted to the Auburn Arts Commission for review, approval, and recommendation. The Poet Laureate of Auburn will then be chosen by the Mayor from among these nominees in December.

What are the obligations of the Poet Laureate?

City staff will coordinate a public ceremony honoring the new Poet Laureate in conjunction with Uniquely Auburn or other public program. The Poet Laureate will be invited to participate in various City of Auburn public openings and events throughout the three year term.

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 sample
  • Exemplary professionalism as evidenced by an established history of publication in journals and books, special honors, awards, fellowships, and/or other recognition
  • Advancement of poetry in Auburn communities as evidenced by a history of activity in Auburn's literary community through readings, publications, public presentations and/or teaching

Re-nomination of Previously Nominated Poets

Nominations are not carried over in future years. If you wish to nominate someone who has been nominated before, a new nomination application and materials must be submitted.