Poet Laureate

Three poets laureate past and present in a pod
Three poets laureate past and present in a pod

The poet laureate of Kansas is alive and well as a program with the Kansas Humanities Council. Our fourth and newest poet laureate, beginning her term in May of 2013, is Wyatt Townley. Learn more about how to bring Wyatt to your community by going to the Kansas Humanities Council poet laureate pages, beginning here.

Wyatt follows Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, who was poet laureate from 2009-2013; Denise Low, who served from 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.
  • Readings, presentations and workshops throughout Kansas.
  • 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.
  • Special Poetry Month Activities, which include, for 2011, the Kansas Daily Poem In Your Pocket, the To the Stars Poetry Contests, and more.
  • Everyday Magic,  a blog on the writing life, and other columns and blogs.
  • 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.
  • Write From Your Life Columns and Podcasts, including High Plains Public Radio shows.
  • Shepherding the poet laureate program to its new home with the Kansas Humanities Council after the Kansas Arts Commission was dissolved.