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Oklahoma State Poet Jay Snider

Oklahoma State Poet Laureate


2023-2024 Oklahoma State Poet Laureate
Jay Snider, Cyril

Jay Snider of Cyril, Oklahoma, was appointed by Governor J. Kevin Stitt in December 2022 to serve as the 2023-2024 Oklahoma State Poet Laureate. Snider is an award-winning cowboy poet and recording artist who has appeared at national and regional events. He is widely recognized in the Oklahoma cowboy poetry community and is a frequent contributor to programs presented by the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan and other museums and cultural centers across the state. Among national and regional events featuring Snider, he has appeared at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, and the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering. Snider was a featured poet at the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering for many years. In 2001, he was chosen by as their fifth Lariat Laureate—awarded to poets whose work celebrates and preserves stories honoring Western heritage and the work of ranching and rural life. In 2006, Snider earned Cowboy Poetry Recording of the Year from the Academy of Western Artists for his CD, “Of Horses and Men.” In 2008, he was recognized as Cowboy Poet of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. His latest album, “The Old Tried and True,” is a compilation of his favorite poems written by cowboy poets of the past. Born and raised in a ranching and rodeo family in southwestern Oklahoma, Snider rodeoed as a young man. He currently stays busy raising ranch horses and cattle and taking part in team roping.

Read the announcement about Snider's appointment.

Contact Jay Snider

Interested in bringing 2023-2024 Oklahoma State Poet Laureate Jay Snider to your community or school? To inquire about availability and to schedule an event, please contact Jay directly at:

Jay Snider
(580) 574-7017

Funding to bring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate to your community or school

Oklahoma Arts Council grant funding is available to support eligible programs featuring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate. To learn how you can bring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate to your community or school to present workshops, readings, and more, please contact our Grants Director.

About the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate Program

The Oklahoma Arts Council works on behalf of the Office of the Governor to solicit nominations for the honorary position of Oklahoma State Poet Laureate. The position was codified in 1994 through State Statute 98.4. According to the legislation, the appointment by the Governor shall be made by January 1 of every odd year thus the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate serves for a period of two years.

During even numbered years, the Oklahoma Arts Council puts out a call for nominations from cultural organizations, such as poetry societies, writers’ groups, colleges and universities, local arts and humanities councils, and libraries. A review committee that may consist of poets, university professors, former poets laureate, and others with expertise in poetry reviews submissions and makes a recommendation to the Governor. The final determination and appointment of the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate is made by the Governor. Poets laureate appointments holdover until a succeeding Oklahoma State Poet Laureate is named.


Nominees must be a distinguished poet who is a resident of Oklahoma throughout his/her term and has a published body of work that includes at least one original book (not self-published). Nominees should be committed to outreach and the promotion of poetry statewide. The nominee must also indicate agreement to be nominated.


Subject to availability of funding, direct compensation in the form of honoraria may be provided to the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate by the Oklahoma Arts Council. Additional opportunities for compensation may be available through programs featuring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate that are administered by organizations eligible for Oklahoma Arts Council grant funding. Organizations and programs must meet Oklahoma Arts Council grant eligibility criteria.

Nomination Review Committee

The Nomination Review Committee consists of individuals with expertise in literary art forms, including poets, university professors, former state poets laureate, and others. The final determination and appointment is made by the Governor.

Oklahoma Poets Laureate

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