Start of Term:
December 11, 2003
Position established January 14, 1936 with the appointment of Howard Austin
by Governor Edward J. Hughs. The position was a lifetime appointment until
2003, when Governor Rod R. Blagojevich revised the guidelines
for the position, making it a four-year renewable term. The term of current poet laureate Kevin Stein will end on December 1, 2017.
On June 30, 2020, Governor Pritzker proclaimed singer-songwriter John Prine the firstHonorary Poet Laureate of the state.
Howard Austin (January
14, 1936-April 1, 1962)
Carl Sandburg (February
28, 1962-July 22, 1967)
Gwendolyn Brooks (January
3, 1968-December 4, 2000)