History of Poet Laureate Position


Previous Kansas
Poet Laureates


1. Jonathan Holden

2. Denise Low

3. C. Mirriam-Goldberg

4. Wyatt Townley

5. Eric McHenry

6. Kevin Rabas


Laureate History












 Kansas Humanities Council

The Poet Laureate program of Kansas is intended to serve the cultural tradition of officially recognizing a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. The program will also encourage the appreciation of poetry in Kansas by making the Poet Laureate available to a wider audience throughout the state.  After the Kansas Arts Commission dropped funding for the position, the Kansas Humanities Council kept the position alive


Governor Kathleen Sebelius and the Kansas Arts Commission established the Kansas Poet Laureate program in 2004.  The original impetus (from the Office of the Governor) for the creation of a poet laureate post in Kansas began in response to numerous requests received at the Kansas Arts Commission and the Office of the Governor suggesting that such a position be established. Responding to those requests, the Kansas Arts Commission voted to proceed (with the approval of the Governor) in the development of guidelines for a poet laureate position. Guidelines were developed with input from Kansas poets and KAC staff research of other states’ poet laureate programs.

(Schools may apply to receive a Kansas Arts Commission grant to help support a visit by the poet laureate.)

The Poet Laureate of Kansas establishes programs of his or her design to coincide with the term of service. This may include workshops, special reading series, school programs, conferences, specially commissioned poems or other projects promoting appreciation and writing of poetry in Kansas.

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