Vermont Arts Council

Vermont’s Poet Laureate

Robert Frost was declared Poet Laureate in 1961 upon the adoption of Joint House Resolution 54 by the General Assembly. In 1988 Governor Kunin re-established the position (reference: Executive Order No 69, 1988). Galway Kinnell was the first State Poet named for a term of 4 years as a result of this 1989 order.

Poet Laureate is a four-year appointment made by the Governor based on the recommendation of a distinguished panel. The panel makes its recommendation based upon these criteria:

  • the poet is a resident of Vermont (Vermont being his/her primary residence)
  • the poetry manifests a high degree of excellence
  • the poet has produced a critically acclaimed body of work
  • the poet has a long association with Vermont

The poet being nominated must agree to participate from time to time in official ceremonies and readings at the Vermont State House and other locations and will receive an honorarium of $1,000 provided by the Vermont Arts Council.

The position was known under the title of State Poet from 1988-2007. The position was re-designated Poet Laureate by Governor James Douglas at Ruth Stone’s investiture in 2007.

Chard DeNiord will succeed Sydney Lea as Vermont Poet Laureate on November 2, 2015.

Previous Laureates:
Ruth Stone (2007-2011)
Grace Paley (2003- 2007)
Ellen Bryant Voigt
Louise Gluck (1994-1998)
Galway Kinnell (1989-1993)
Robert Frost (1961-1963)