Apply to be the State Poet Laureate
Interested in becoming the primary spokesperson, supporter, and promoter of poetry in Washington State? Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission are accepting applications for Washington State’s next Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate builds awareness and appreciation of poetry, including Washington’s legacy of poetry, through public readings, workshops, and presentations, and perform this work in culturally and geographically diverse communities throughout the state.
The new laureate will serve from 2023 to 2025, with the term beginning April 15, 2023. For their service—which includes a monthly schedule of readings and workshops—the Laureate receives $40,000 each year, one of the highest honorariums for a State Poet Laureate in the country.
Washington State Poets Laureate represent some of the best and most generous of Washington poets. The duties of the Laureate require public interaction, some travel, and a willingness to undertake a project of the Laureate’s choosing during their two-year term. Past Laureates report that they grew in unique and significant ways as artists, advanced their careers, and appreciated the opportunity to meet new people and learn about the entire state.
Nominations are open now through December 2. To be eligible, nominees must “have significantly contributed to the poetic legacy of Washington State” and commit to serve as an ambassador for poetry. Self-nominations are encouraged. The full guidelines and links to apply are online at arts.wa.gov/washington-state-poet-laureate.
Join Humanities Washington and ArtsWA for one of two information sessions:
Information session #1 | Friday, November 4, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Click here to register
Information session #2 | Monday, November 7, 2022 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Click here to register
Watch a video walk-through of the application process here.
Poets who have served as Washington State Poet Laureate are:
Sam Green (2007-2009)
Kathleen Flenniken (2012-2014)
Elizabeth Austen (2014-2016)
Tod Marshall (2016-2018)
Claudia Castro Luna (2018-2021)
Rena Priest (2021-2023)
Click here to see full bios of the past Poets Laureate, and read more about current laureate Rena Priest here.