Academy Announces the Call for Applications & Nominations for the Next Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Aug 18, 2022

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, in partnership with the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, is pleased to announce the call for applications and nominations for the Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2023–2024. Beginning August 25, 2022, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission will accept applications from individual poets who are seeking the position as well as applications from others who are nominating a poet for Poet Laureate. For either, a complete application package must be sent to the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission,, as one e-mail attachment no later than October 14, 2022. The Wisconsin Poet Laureate’s term of service is two years. The next term begins on January 1, 2023 and ends on December 31, 2024. Complete application materials and information can be found on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate website application page.

Eligibility and Criteria for Applicants and Nominations

  • The applicant should show evidence of achievement in the art of poetry, including substantial publications (books, literary magazines, and/or digital media).
  • The applicant should have received significant recognition or awards.
  • The applicant should demonstrate excellence in promoting awareness or enjoyment of poetry.
  • The applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The applicant must have been a resident of Wisconsin for at least three years prior to the application deadline.
  • The applicant must be able and available to reach statewide audiences through travel or other means.

The Poet Laureate is expected to: 

  • contribute to the growth of poetry throughout the state.
  • plan and/or attend statewide literary events and educational programs.
  • visit each region of the state at least once during the two-year term.
  • promote poetry and the Poet Laureate position via electronic social media.  
  • participate in selecting the succeeding Poet Laureate and guide the transition into the role.  
  • prepare and provide a written report of activities every six months or upon request of the Poet Laureate Commission.  

The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission embraces the diversity of human experience, identity, and literary aesthetics. All applications are welcome, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, socio-economic background, physical ability or poetic sub-genre.  And in fact, those very aspects of identity are factors the committee will take into account when making their selection, in the pursuit of the Poet Laureate Program being representative of the rich and diverse cultures of poetry in the state of Wisconsin.

Selection Process

  • The Commission reviews all submitted materials to arrive at three (3) finalists.    
  • The three (3) finalists are interviewed in person by the Commission, which makes its final decision about selecting the new Poet Laureate based on the application packets and the interviews.
  • The Commission may acknowledge the other finalists as Commended Poets.

Recognition of the Poet Laureate

  • The Poet Laureate will be awarded a $3,500 stipend per year, which honors the poet’s achievements and helps to defray expenses not reimbursed by individual organizations where the Poet Laureate is a guest. The Poet Laureate is encouraged to accept honoraria or remuneration from host organizations. 
  • The Poet Laureate Commission will work with the Poet Laureate and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters to facilitate press coverage related to key activities.
  • A limited edition broadside of the Poet Laureate’s work will be produced.
  • In each year of the two-year appointment, the Poet Laureate will be awarded a one-week stay at Shake Rag Alley Center for Arts and Crafts in Mineral Point.
  • The Poet Laureate will be featured in an issue of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letter’s Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine.

Timeline for Applications and Selection of the Poet Laureate

  • August 25 – Application window opens.
  • October 14 – Deadline for nominations/applications.
  • November 6, 12:00 pm – Poet Laureate Commission meets to select three (3) finalists.
  • November 13 – Finalist Interviews via ZOOM. New Laureate is selected and notified.
  • Early January 2023 – Poet Laureate Commission & Wisconsin Academy publicly announce new Poet Laureate

About the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission

In May of 2011 the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters announced their stewardship of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate program, created by Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson in Executive Order 404 on July 31, 2000. The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission has as its purpose to conduct the Wisconsin Poet Laureate selection process, assign responsibilities to the selected Poet Laureate, and assist that individual in performing official duties. Members of the Commission include representatives from the Wisconsin Center for the Book, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, the Wisconsin Humanities, the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, Write On, Door County and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, as well as several at-large members.

Thanks to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters for their assistance in conducting this selection process.

About the Wisconsin Academy

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters  produces programs and publications that explore, explain, and sustain Wisconsin thought and culture. Our signature publication is Wisconsin People & Ideas, the quarterly magazine of Wisconsin thought and culture; programs include the James Watrous Gallery in Overture Center for the Arts, which showcases contemporary art from Wisconsin; Academy Talks, a series of public lectures and discussion forums; Wisconsin Initiatives, exploring major sustainability issues and solutions; and a Fellows Program, which recognizes accomplished individuals with a lifelong commitment to intellectual discourse and public service. The Wisconsin Academy also supports the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and many other endeavors connect Wisconsin people and ideas for a better world.