In appointing the teenagers, the City Council also chose not to name a new adult poet laureate following the resignation of Cynthia Bryant last August before her two-year term expired. Bryant also held that position from 2005-2007.
Only one application to be adult poet laureate to succeed Bryant was received by the city, and members of the poet laureate selection committee decided against making any appointment "at this time, but instead allow the application process to remain open until a sufficient number of qualified candidates have applied."
The teen poet laureates approved by the council are Arany Uthayakumar from Amador Valley High School and Diana Fu from Foothill High. They will serve with no remuneration for their services, although the Community Services Department has $2,000 allocated in its budget to pay any expenses incurred.
The poet laureate position was established in 1998, with its primary role to provide to provide appropriate poetry at civic events and promote the appreciation of the literary arts in the community. The program won an award from the National Conference of Mayors in 2001.
The first poet laureate was the late Charlene Villella. She was followed by Jim Ott, Kirk Ridgeway, Martha Meltzer and Deborah Grossman.