Wisconsin Poet Laureate

WI Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton


Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, and creative change agent.


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

Margaret Rozga – 2019-2020

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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