2023-2025 Washington State Poet Laureate Arianne True.

Washington State Poet Laureate

Connecting Washington to the power of poetry

The Washington State Poet Laureate builds awareness and appreciation of poetry through public readings, workshops, lectures, and presentations. Laureates perform this work in culturally and geographically diverse communities throughout the state. The Washington State Poet Laureate program is jointly sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and Humanities Washington.

Meet Arianne True, the 2023-25 Washington State Poet Laureate

Arianne True (Choctaw, Chickasaw) is a disabled queer poet and teaching artist from Seattle, and has spent most of her work time working with youth. She’s received fellowships and residencies from Jack Straw, Artist Trust, and the Seattle Repertory Theater, among others, and is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Tacoma with her cat and is always questing for high-quality dairy-free baked goods. Arianne is the 2023-2025 Washington State Poet Laureate.

Learn more at https://www.arts.wa.gov/washington-state-poet-laureate/ and follow her on Instagram at @wapoetlaureate and @ariannetrue.


Queer Poetry Anthology

As part of Arianne True’s term as the Washington State Poet Laureate, she’s putting together an anthology of poems from queer writers of all stripes across the state.

Interested in hosting Arianne True for a reading, workshop, or other event?
Please note that Arianne is unavailable for booking through the summer of 2024.

📅 Upcoming Events

Please note that Arianne is unavailable for booking through the summer of 2024.

Queer Anthology workshop

On Monday, November 13, 2023, Arianne True led a 75-minute queer writing workshop. Watch the recording below. The workshop handout on Hermit Crab Forms is available at this link.

  • The Washington State Legislature passed a bill in 2007 to establish the Washington State Poet Laureate program. The bill recognized the value of poetry to the state’s culture and heritage.
  • The Governor appoints the Laureate based on recommendations from a geographically and culturally diverse panel of representatives from Washington’s arts, humanities, and literary communities.
  • Once appointed, ArtsWA and Humanities Washington provide funding for the honorarium ($40,000 annually), travel and project expenses, and administrative support for the Laureate.
  • The Laureate serves a two-year term. The 2023-2025 Laureate’s term begins May 1, 2023.

Poet Laureate nominations are submitted using an online portal (Submittable).

A geographically and culturally diverse panel of representatives from Washington’s arts, humanities and literary communities score each nomination. The panel identifies finalists (generally up to three) to be interviewed by the panel. These interviews will happen via video conferencing/or in person depending on circumstances at that time. After the interviews, the panel makes a recommendation to Governor Inslee, who appoints at his discretion.

ArtsWA and Humanities Washington staff do not score nominations or make recommendations on candidates during the selection process but do help facilitate the process and answer technical questions.

Rena Priest


Learn more about Rena Priest.

Claudia Castro Luna


Learn more about Claudia Castro Luna.

Tod Marshall


Learn more about Tod Marshall.

Elizabeth Austen


Learn more about Elizabeth Austen.

Kathleen Flenniken


Learn more about Kathleen Flenniken.

Samuel Green


Learn more about Samuel Green.


Linnea Ingalls, Grants to Organizations (GTO) Program Coordinator and ArtsWA lead for the Washington State Poet Laureate program.

Phone: 360-252-9969

Email: linnea.ingalls@arts.wa.gov

Additional support for the Poet Laureate program comes from Amazon Literary Partnership Poetry Fund and the Academy of American Poets.