State Poet of Rhode Island

Applications for the State Poet of Rhode Island are now closed

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 2024 to January 2029.

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 is Tina Cane, who focused her work on youth engagement, public art projects, and the Youth Poetry Ambassador program in collaboration with The Center for the Book. She was appointed to the post in 2016.

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