Public nominations for Missouri Poet Laureate open


Public nominations are open now through March 22 for Missouri’s next Poet Laureate. The Missouri Poet Laureate fosters the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, and encourages the reading and writing of poetry across the state, enriching Missourians’ lives by sharing and promoting poetry through public appearances, readings, workshops, and digital and social media.

Starting July 1, the Missouri Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term. Poets must be Missouri residents and at least 25 years old as of July 1. All nominations are welcome, including nominations by poets themselves. For details about how to nominate, see the Missouri Arts Council’s website,

The Missouri Poet Laureate Committee, composed of people throughout Missouri, will review all submitted nominations and recommend finalists to Governor Michael L. Parson, who makes the final decision. The Poet Laureate will be announced on July 1.

The Missouri Poet Laureate program was established in 2008. The current Missouri Poet Laureate is Karen Craigo, of Springfield, author of two poetry collections, and editor and general manager of The Marshfield Mail weekly newspaper based in the Webster County seat. She has served as Poet Laureate since 2019.

The four previous Poet Laureates were Aliki Barnstone of Columbia (2016-2019), William Trowbridge of Lee’s Summit (2012-16), the late David Clewell of St. Louis (2010-12), and Walter Bargen of Ashland (2008-10).