Poet Laureate Program

Poetry Broadsides Call for Qualifications

Online Application Deadline: December 8, 2023

The City of Malibu is seeking artists to create a broadside in response to a poem written by former Malibu Poet Laureates.  Featured artists will design and create an original visual art piece for public distribution and reproduction. The City desires artwork that is intriguing and inspirational.

The broadside will be a collaboration between the selected artist and Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate will provide the artist with feedback regarding the final design.

Broadsides will be printed by the City and distributed at community events, programs, City vendor booths, and workshops. A digital version of the Broadside may be included on social media, City websites, and broadcast through various platforms. 

Artists may be required to attend events, sign copies of artwork, or be available for interviews as part of the marketing and outreach program.

Artist must respond to one of the following poems written by former Malibu Poet Laureates -

  1. Malibu Sunset by John Struloeff
  2. I Think About War and Then I Don't by Ellen Reich
  3. Advice From a Hollywood Cougar by Ricardo Means Ybarra

For more information on submission requirements or to submit an online application, please visit the Poetry Broadsides Call for Qualifications in the Form Center.

Questions related to the Poetry Broadsides may be directed to Amanda Rigali, Recreation Coordinator.

Poetry Events

Complimentary poetry workshops are open to poets of all levels. An RSVP is not required for workshops.

Caffeinated Verse: includes a featured reader, followed by an open mic format. Workshops take place in person at the Malibu Library at 11:00 AM.

  • Saturday, December 16, featuring Sophie Klahr
  • Saturday, January 20, featuring Elena Karina Byrne
  • Saturday, February 17, featuring Kim Dower

The Ripple Effect: A Generative Poetry Workshop: When things ripple, they emanate from a center and move outwards. Ripples are an unfolding interaction. In terms of poetry, poems "ripple out" from us and join the ripple of existing and yet-to-be-penned poems which creates a dialogue that continuously overlaps. Join us for a generative, poetry writing workshop where we will sit in the "ripple" of each other's energies, read, and discuss poems to stimulate our imaginations, and write original poems from prompts provided in the workshop. This workshop is for everyone, regardless of ability level. Participants should bring a pen and a notepad! Led by Malibu Poet Laureate Nathan Hassall. Workshops take place in person at the Michael Landon Center at 3:00 PM.

  • Saturday, December 9
  • Saturday, January 27
  • Saturday, February 24

Jubilations: Hosted by the Malibu Poet Laureate Nathan Hassall. A gathering themed to celebrate joy in a time of whelming possibilities, to give voice to the true nature of vitality modeled on the natural world, and to attend to the power of love and joy. The gathering features selected poets, an open mic, and conversation. Complimentary and an RSVP is not required.

  • Thursday, February 8, 5 - 6:30 PM at the Malibu Library

Malibu Poet Laureate

NH Headshot

Malibu Poet Laureate Nathan Hassall was appointed by the City Council on August 28, 2023, to serve as the 2023 - 2025 Poet Laureate.

Nathan first came to Malibu six years ago and promptly joined the Malibu Writer's Circle to hone his craft as a prose writer. Equipped with a refined sense of narrative, he has since taken a proactive role in the promotion of poetry in the community, engaging in initiatives like teaching in local schools such as Malibu Elementary, Webster Elementary, and Malibu High. 

Nathan has attended numerous Malibu events, like Caffeinated Verse, and been a featured reader at Jubilations where he recited poems inspired by a transformational experience at a "Finding Your Voice" singing workshop in Esalen, Big Sur, CA.

During his term as Poet Laureate, Nathan seeks to expand the number of people in the city partaking in the ancient art of poetry, while also helping to inspire those who are already active in the community. He holds a strong belief in poetry’s potential to transform consciousness, heal the mind, and open the gates of dialogue to difficult and often buried subjects. He plans to run workshops that encourage writing poetry as a vessel for increased well-being, inner knowing, and emotional and spiritual growth.

Nathan has a Master's in Creative Writing, with a focus in Poetry, from the University of Kent, UK, and has published numerous poems, interviews, and reviews in various magazines. His chapbook of experimental haiku—dregsongs from blab cartilage—recently featured on the Haiku Foundation's "Book of the Week" was published in 2018 by Bones: A Journal of Haiku. He has poems published in many different magazines, including "Last Days Before the Wake," a poem published by Inflectionist Review, whose editors nominated it for a Pushcart Prize.

Nathan works as a freelance book editor, helping authors bring their books to excellence in various genres, including poetry, psychology, self-help, and memoir. He is also the co-founder of The Burnal Co., an emotional well-being organization.

Questions related to the Poet Laureate program or arts programming may be directed to Amanda Rigali, Recreation Coordinator. 

Malibu Poet Laureates

Ann BuxieSeptember 2021 - August 2023
Dr. John StruloeffOctober 2020 - June 2021
Ellen ReichMarch 2019 - April 2020
Ricardo Means YbarraMarch 2017 - March 2019

2023 Poetry and Art Student Anthology 

"I Knew One Thing Was Real" includes poems by Malibu Elementary School and Webster Elementary School 5th grade classes, Malibu Middle School Lapajne English Class, and poems from Levy Distance Learning Classes. Student artist from grades Kindergarten to 12 are also featured in this year's Anthology, which is available at Malibu City Hall Community Services Department. 
Malibu Community Poetry Anthologies

"All Breathing Things" edited by Malibu Poet Laureate Ann Buxie, with support from the Poet Laureate Committee and the Malibu Arts Commission. The anthology includes work from 35 poets.

"A Place Like This" edited by former Malibu Poet Laureate John Struloeff, with support from the Poet Laureate Committee and the Malibu Arts Commission. The anthology includes work from 41 poets and their biographical information. 
 "Quilt" features poetry and art from fifth-grade students at Malibu Elementary School. Students attended poetry writing workshops with former Poet Laureate Ricardo Means Ybarra and Jolynn Regan. The program also included art lessons with Nicole Fisher. 

 Questions related to the Community Anthologies may be directed to 
Amanda Rigali, Recreation Coordinator or call (310) 456-2489, ext. 252.