Start of Term:
February 1, 2016
Ella Higginson was named the first unofficial Washington poet laureate by the Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs on June 17, 1931. House Bill 1279, which established the official position of Washington State Poet Laureate, was signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire April 19, 2007, and became effective July 22, 2007. The state poet serves a two-year appointment. Due to a budget shortfall, the position, which carries a stipend of $10,000, was suspended at the end of Samuel Green's term in December 2009. Gov. Gregoire permitted the position to resume in 2011, provided no state funds were used. The position is currently funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities Washington.
Samuel Green (December 17, 2007-December 2009)
Kathleen Flenniken (February 9, 2012-January 2014)
Elizabeth Austen (February 1, 2014-January 31, 2016)