Poet Laureate

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From left: Denise Low, Eric McHenry, Wyatt Townley, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

The poet laureate of Kansas is alive and well as a program with the Kansas Humanities Council. Our fifth and newest poet laureate, beginning his term in May of 2015, is Eric McHenry. Learn more about how to bring Eric to your community by going to the Kansas Humanities Council poet laureate pages, beginning here.

Past Kansas poets laureate include: Wyatt Townley, who served from 2013-15; Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-2013; Denise Low,  2007-2009; and our first poet laureate, Jonathan Holden, 2005-2007.

Caryn’s poet laureate term included:

  • Poetry Across Kansas – Reading and Writing Our Way Home: readings, writing workshops, and training sessions for people to lead ongoing community writing circles.
  • 150 Kansas Poems to celebrate Kansas’s Susquicentennial in 2011, followed by the Kansas renga in 2012.
  • Publication of Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems in 2011 followed by a 15-town poetry caravan reading tour with bunches of poets.
  • Publication of To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices, winner of the 2012 Kansas Notable Book Award, followed by a 12-town poetry caravan reading tour with many poets.
  • Poet Laureati: A National Convergence of Poets Laureate, a national conference featuring 20 state poets laureate, held in 2011, and Poet Laureate: A Midwestern Convergence of Poets Laureate, featuring 8 Midwestern poets laureate, held in 2010.
  • An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the State Poets Laureate, co-edited with state poets laureate Marilyn L. Taylor, Denise Low and Walter Bargen.
  • Shepherding the poet laureate program to its new home with the Kansas Humanities Council after the Kansas Arts Commission was dissolved.