Past State Poet Laureates

Elizabeth Austen
Elizabeth Austen
Kathleen Flenniken
Kathleen Flenniken
Sam Green
Sam Green

2014-16: Elizabeth Austen

Elizabeth Austen's debut collection, Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010), Where Currents Meet (Toadlily Press, 2010) and an audio CD, skin prayers. Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily, in the Los Angeles Review, Bellingham Review and Willow Springs. She is noted for her engaging public performances of poetry, and has been featured at Poets House in New York City, Minneapolis's The Loft, the Skagit River Poetry Festival, Spokane's Get Lit!, Seattle's Cheap Wine and Poetry and Bumbershoot, among others. Elizabeth produces poetry programming for NPR-affiliate KUOW 94.9, and earned an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. She makes her living at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she also offers poetry and journaling workshops for the staff.


2012-14: Kathleen Flenniken

Her debut collection, Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010), Where Currents Meet (Toadlily Press, 2010) and an audio CD, skin prayers. Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily, in the Los Angeles Review, Bellingham Review and Willow Springs. She is noted for her engaging public performances of poetry, and has been featured at Poets House in New York City, Minneapolis's The Loft, the Skagit River Poetry Festival, Spokane's Get Lit!, Seattle's Cheap Wine and Poetry and Bumbershoot, among others. Elizabeth produces poetry programming for NPR-affiliate KUOW 94.9, and earned an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. She makes her living at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she also offers poetry and journaling workshops for the staff. - See more at: http://www.arts.wa.gov/arts-in-communities/washington-state-poet-laureate#sthash.q3Ii4ARNKathleen Flenniken was raised in Richland, Wash., and currently lives in Seattle. She holds engineering degrees from Washington State University and the University of Washington, as well as a Masters in Fine Arts degree from Pacific Lutheran University. She is president of Floating Bridge Press, a nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing Washington poets, and teaches poetry writing to students of all ages with the support of arts organizations including WSAC, Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program and Jack Straw Productions.

Kathleen Flenniken came to poetry late, after working as a civil engineer and hydrologist at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Her first book Famous (University of Nebraska Press, 2006), won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, and was a finalist for a Washington State Book Award. Her second collection, Plume, about the Hanford nuclear site, was selected by Linda Bierds for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series, and published by University of Washington Press in 2012. It won the Washington State Book Award and was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Book Awards and the William Carlos Williams Award for the Poetry Society of America. Plume also won a Poetry and Literature Design Award from the Association of University Presses for book designer Ashley Saleeba. The collection is in its third printing. Kathleen teaches poetry and is a co-editor and president of Floating Bridge Press. She lives in Seattle, Washington. 


2007-09: Samuel Green

Sam Green is a Washington native and resides on remote Waldron Island. A distinguished poet and author of several poetry collections, including The Grace of Necessity (winner of the 2008 Washington State Book Award for poetry), his work has appeared in numerous publications. For more than thirty years, he has served as editor of a small press focusing on the work of Washington poets. He has been a visiting poet and poetry teacher at Seattle University for several years and has been active with the Skagit River Poetry Festival.


Her debut collection, Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010), Where Currents Meet (Toadlily Press, 2010) and an audio CD, skin prayers. Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily, in the Los Angeles Review, Bellingham Review and Willow Springs. She is noted for her engaging public performances of poetry, and has been featured at Poets House in New York City, Minneapolis's The Loft, the Skagit River Poetry Festival, Spokane's Get Lit!, Seattle's Cheap Wine and Poetry and Bumbershoot, among others. Elizabeth produces poetry programming for NPR-affiliate KUOW 94.9, and earned an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. She makes her living at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she also offers poetry and journaling workshops for the staff. - See more at: http://www.arts.wa.gov/arts-in-communities/washington-state-poet-laureate#sthash.q3Ii4ARN.dpuf

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