It’s been nearly a year since my last update on state poets laureate. Since then, ten states have welcomed new poets laureate, four of which have been appointed since May 1:
- Beth Ann Fennelly started her term as Mississippi Poet Laureate on August 10, 2016;
- Michael Erdelen was named Premiere Poet of Indiana in October 2016 (The long-standing position of Premiere Poet is unofficial, and runs alongside the official position of Indiana Poet Laureate.);
- Tina Kane was appointed Rhode Island Poet Laureate on November 4, 2016;
- Karla Huston started her term as Wisconsin Poet Laureate on January 5, 2017
- Jeanetta Calhoun Mish began serving as Poet Laureate of Oklahoma on March 23, 2017;
- Kevin Rabas began his term as Kansas Poet Laureate on April 20, 2017;
- Frederick Smock was appointed the Poet Laureate of Kentucky on May 1, 2017;
- Paisley Rekdal became the new Poet Laureate of Utah on May 10, 2017
- Jenny Browne began her term as Texas Poet Laureate on May 18, 2017;
- and Lowell Jaeger was appointed Montana Poet Laureate on May 19, 2017. He will assume his official duties on August 1, 2017.
As of this posting, forty-three states have an official position of state poet laureate. Two states, Alaska and Idaho, have a position for “State Writer Laureate” and “Writer-in-Residence,” respectively. The position of state poet laureate or state writer is occupied in forty-two of these forty-five states.
The five states with no Poet Laureate or State Writer position are Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. If you live in one of these states and are interested in how you can help establish a Poet Laureate position, I shared some ideas on how to do so in a May 2014 blog post. For answers to other commonly asked questions about state poets laureate, see our U.S. State Poets Laureate resource guide.
To find a complete list of U.S. state poets, and to learn more about each state’s laureateship, you can explore our state poets map. Click on the image of the map to be brought to an interactive version; you can use its drop-down menu to browse the list of current laureates.
Map of State Poets Laureate. Click to open interactive map and locate your state’s current Poet Laureate.
My last update on state poets laureate was in December 2015, so this post is long overdue! As I reviewed my files for this post, I was surprised to learn that during the past seven months the Poets Laureate of ten states have changed. In fact, just in the past few weeks three new state […]
Delaware’s poetry lovers could be excused for doing a double take Wednesday evening. After all, Governor Jack Markell had just made an unprecedented announcement: identical twins Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills, known as the Twin Poets, would share the title of 17th Poets Laureate of the State of Delaware. The appointment marks the first time […]
The following post is part of our From the Catbird Seat series, “Literary Treasures.” The monthly series champions the Library’s literary programming by highlighting audio and video recordings drawn from the Library’s extensive online collections, including the recently released Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. The series, by showcasing the works and thoughts of some […]
Since my last state poets update in July, one new state poet laureate was appointed and has begun his term, a second was appointed and will assume his role in the fall, and a third announced he is resigning from his position due to an impending move to a new state. Here are the facts: […]
It’s been only two months since my previous state poets update, but since then three states have appointed new laureates: Peter Meinke was appointed Florida’s Poet Laureate on June 15; Lee Ann Roripaugh was appointed South Dakota Poet Laureate on July 1; and A. Rose Hill was appointed Poet Laureate of Wyoming on July 9 […]
Since my last update on state poets laureate back in December, new laureates have taken up office in six states. Just yesterday, Carmen Tafolla was invested as Texas State Poet Laureate. Here are the five other changes since the new year began: Kimberly Blaeser started her term as Wisconsin Poet Laureate on January 6; Shelby Stephenson […]
April is a big month for poetry programming at the Library of Congress. Patricia Smith, winner of the 13th Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, will be reading at the Library on April 6th. And on April 30th, Charles Wright will conclude his term at the 20th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by holding […]
‘Tis the season to be jolly, especially if you’re a poetry lover in North Carolina or Ohio! Five months after Valerie Macon resigned as North Carolina poet laureate due to a controversy over her qualifications and the process through which she was appointed, a new North Carolina laureate has been selected. Governor Pat McCrory announced […]