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About the Poets Laureate

Meet the poets...

Poetry and Politics is the brainchild of New Hampshire Poet Laureate Marie Harris, who, when researching an article for American Writer magazine, discovered that while the position of the poet laureate is a longstanding tradition, most state poets laureate were working in isolation and had never met. Yet she also discovered that all the state laureates were committed to working within their communities and had strong beliefs about the role of the poet in the public arena. From this research, the idea of a national gathering of all state poets laureate was born.

Our aim is to provide informal opportunities for poets, guests, and the audience to exchange information, discuss concerns, and share their vision.

To see who’s attending, meet the state poets laureate, and learn more about how they envision their role, use the chart below.

State Name Attending
Alaska Anne Hanley Yes
Alabama Helen Norris No
Arizona No poet laureate  
Arkansas Verna Lee Hinegardner No
Colorado Mary Crow Yes
California Vacant  
Connecticut Marilyn Nelson Yes
District of Columbia Delores Kendrick No
Delaware Fleda Brown Yes
Florida Edmund Skellings Yes
Georgia David Bottoms No
Hawaii State writer position  
Idaho Jim Irons Yes
Illinois Vacant  
Indiana No poet laureate  
Iowa Marvin Bell No
Kansas No poet laureate  
James Baker Hall, emeritus
Joe Survant, newly appointed
Louisiana Jean McGivney Boese No
Maine Baron Wormser Yes
Maryland Michael Collier No
Massachusetts No poet laureate  
Michigan No poet laureate  
Minnesota No poet laureate  
Mississippi No poet laureate  
Missouri Vacant  
Montana No poet laureate  
Nebraska William Kloefkorn Yes
Nevada No poet laureate  
New Hampshire Marie Harris Yes
New Jersey Amiri Baraka Yes
New Mexico No poet laureate  
New York John Ashbery No
North Carolina Vacant  
North Dakota Larry Woiwode Yes
Ohio No poet laureate  
Oklahoma Carl Sennhenn Yes
Oregon No poet laureate  
Pennsylvania Samuel Hazo Yes
Rhode Island Tom Chandler Yes
South Carolina Vacant  
South Dakota David Allan Evans Yes
Tennessee Maggi Vaughn Yes
Texas No poet laureate  
Utah Kenneth W. Brewer  
Vermont Grace Paley Yes
Virginia George Garrett No
Washington No poet laureate  
West Virginia Irene McKinney Yes
Wisconsin Ellen Kort Yes
Wyoming Robert Roripaugh Yes