State Poet of Rhode Island

Governor names Colin Channer as State Poet Laureate, March 2024.

The State Poet of Rhode Island or the state's Poet Laureate, created by law by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1987, holds a five-year term. The Governor makes the appointment based on recommendations submitted by the state's Arts Council. The next term will run from January 2030 to January 2035.

The Poet serves as an advocate for poetry and promotes the appreciation and participation in poetry and literary arts activities among the state’s residents. The Rhode Island State Poets do leave their own personal imprint on the program in addition to hosting public activities and penning the inaugural poem for the Governor. The outgoing State Poet of Rhode Island Tina Cane focused her work on youth engagement, public art projects, and the Youth Poetry Ambassador program in collaboration with The Center for the Book. 

Previous state poets are Michael Harper (1988-1994), the late C.D. Wright (1994-1999), Thomas Chandler (1999-2006), Lisa Starr (2007-2012), Rick Benjamin (2013-2015) and Tina Cane (2016-2024).