Wisconsin’s ambassador for poetry, creativity, and artistic expression.
The Wisconsin Poet Laureate is the state's leading voice for poetry, striving to enrich the lives of residents across the state.
It's more of an “activist” rather than “honorary” position. The Wisconsin Poet Laureate has a crucial role promoting poetry, creativity, and artistic expression through publication, performance, education, workshops, and digital and social media. During a two-year term as the Wisconsin’s ambassador for poetry the Poet Laureate travels the state to share a love of language and to encourage creative expression among adults and kids alike.
The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission is comprised of volunteers who support the Poet Laureate position. The Commission selects a new Laureate every two years, publicizes the position, administers the finances, and helps connect the Poet Laureate with the people of Wisconsin. Jodi Vander Molen represents Wisconsin Humanities on the Poet Laureate Commission.
Past Poet Laureates
Karla Huston – 2017-2018
Kimberly Blaeser – 2015-2016
Max Garland – 2013-2014
Bruce Dethlefsen – 2011-2012
Marilyn L. Taylor – 2008-2010
Denise Sweet – 2004-2008
Ellen Kort – 2000-2004
This program was created by Governor Tommy Thompson in 2000. After the $2,000 annual budget was eliminated from the state budget, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters took over stewardship of the program to ensure its survival. Today, the position is kept alive by individual donations, and by financial support from member organizations.
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