Start of Term:
January 5, 2017
Governor Tommy Thompson created a Poet Laureate Nominating Commission "in
Executive Order 404, July 31, 2000, to recommend candidates for the poet laureate
of Wisconsin. The 7 members were appointed to 4-year terms. Each of 5 organizations
recommended one person for membership: the Council for Wisconsin Writers,
the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association,
the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the Wisconsin Arts Board. The governor
directed the commission to recommend three candidates; assign responsibilities
to the poet laureate; and assist that individual in performing official duties.
The poet laureate is required to choose and lead one project that will contribute
to the growth of poetry in this state subject to commission approval; plan
and attend at least four statewide literary events each year; and perform in
at least four government, state, and civil events as requested by the governor’s
office, school systems, and literary organizations. Governor Thompson appointed
Ellen Kort, of Appleton, to a four-year term in December 2000" (2001-2002
Wisconsin Blue Book, p. 338).
On February 4, 2011, The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission received a form letter from the office of Gov. Scott Walker indicating that the commission would be abolished. In May 2011, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters announced that it would steward the Wisconsin Poet Laureate program for as long was necessary to ensure its survival and support the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. Bruce Dethlefsen continued to serve as Wisconsin Poet Laureate for a two-year term through 2012.
Ellen Kort (appointed December 22, 2000-2004)
Denise Sweet (September 7, 2004-2008)
Marilyn L. Taylor (November 2008-2010)
Bruce Dethlefsen (January 1, 2011-December 31, 2012)
Max Garland (January 3, 2013-December 31, 2014)
Kimberly Blaeser (January 5, 2015-December 31, 2016)