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K-State Today

November 28, 2022

Traci Brimhall named Kansas poet laureate

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission has selected Traci Brimhall, professor of English and director of creative writing, as the 2023-2026 poet laureate of Kansas. Brimhall's four-year term begins on Jan. 1.  

The selection was recently announced by Gov. Laura Kelly. 

"Supporting and celebrating poetry is essential to preserving our state's rich history for future generations," Kelly said. "That's why I'm glad Traci will be our next Kansas poet laureate. Her passion and introspection make her the perfect advocate for poetry and the arts."   

The poet laureate of Kansas is an honorary position of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission that promotes the arts, especially the reading and writing of poetry, for all Kansans. The program was established in 2004. 

"I'm greatly looking forward to serving Kansas as its next poet laureate," Brimhall said. "I love sharing poetry and building community, and it's a privilege to get to do both in this role."

As the new poet laureate of Kansas, Brimhall will conduct public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations that serve communities across the state. Her plans for the laureateship will focus on connecting with Kansans through the shared experience of language, Kansas' agricultural roots and food. 

"The department of English at K-State has already been the home for two poet laureates of Kansas: University Distinguished Professor Jonathan Holden served as the inaugural poet laureate, and English alumnus Kevin Rabas, Master of Arts in English in 1998, served as the sixth," said Karin Westman, department head and associate professor of English. "We're thrilled that Professor Traci Brimhall will soon step into this important role and that so many people in the state will benefit from her artistic talent, her creativity and her commitment to engagement."

Read more in the announcement.