About Us

About the Wisconsin Poet Laureate

The Wisconsin Poet Laureate is the state's leading voice for poetry, promoting it through publication, performance, education, workshops, and digital and social media. The position is more an “activist” than an “honorary” one, which means that Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate strives to enrich the lives of Wisconsin residents by sharing the values of poetry, creativity, and artistic expression across the state. For more on the current Poet Laureate, click here. To learn how one becomes Poet Laureate, click here.

About the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission

The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission is comprised of volunteers who perform several functions crucial to the maintenance of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate position: it selects a new Laureate every two years, publicizes the position, administers the program’s finances, including the raising of funds to support the Poet Laureate’s expenses, and helps connect the Poet Laureate with the people of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Poet Laureate program was originally created by an executive order of Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson in 2000. After the $2,000 annual budget for the laureateship was eliminated by Governor Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters announced its stewardship of the program to ensure its survival. Today, the position of Wisconsin Poet Laureate is kept alive by individual donations, and by financial support from member organizations:

  • Wisconsin Academy
  • Wisconsin Center for the Book
  • Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets
  • Wisconsin Humanities Council
  • Wisconsin Arts Board
  • Council for Wisconsin Writers
  • Chippewa Valley Writers Guild
  • Write on Door County

Members of the commission include representatives from each of these organizations, along with at-large commission members from across the state.

If you value the ongoing work of the Laureate and the Commission, we hope you consider making a donation.