CCT: Connecticut Poet Laureate

Connecticut Poet Laureate

The staff of the Connecticut Office of the Arts would like to express that it has been a true pleasure to work with Rennie McQuilkin, who has served as Poet Laureate for the State of Connecticut since July 1, 2015. Mr. McQuilkin is stepping down from his role due to illness as he feels he is unable to provide the attention the position deserves. We are grateful for his unwavering support of emerging poets, his commitment to raising the profile of poetry across the state, and his contributions to the field of poetry during his time serving as the Official State Poet Laureate for Connecticut.

About the Connecticut Poet Laureate
The honorary position of Connecticut Poet Laureate was established in 1985 by the State of Connecticut.  As the state's representative poet, the Poet Laureate serves as an advocate for poetry and promotes the appreciation of and participation in poetry and literary arts activities among Connecticut citizens. 

Selection for the Poet Laureate is administered by the COA and involves a review process with three professional panelists who assess the applicants for their reputation and distinction within the field of poetry; quality of the poet’s work; and commitment to fostering appreciation and participation in poetry.

The Connecticut Office of the Arts is currently accepting nominations for the position of Connecticut Poet Laureate.  An individual poet must be nominated and deemed eligible to apply.  We encourage both nominators and interested applicants to read the guidelines.

The following information can be found in the guidelines:
- Program Overview
- Program Timeline
- Duties of the Poet Laureate
- Terms of Service and Remuneration
- Who May be Nominated
- Nomination Process
- Application Process
- Review Process
- Contact Information
Any Connecticut resident may nominate one (1) poet for the Poet Laureate position.  A self-nomination will not be accepted and no award will be given posthumously. 

Nominators must provide the following information:
  • Nominator's name and contact information (street address, city, state, zip, phone & email)
  • Contact information for the Nominee (name, street address, city, state, zip, phone & email)
  • A formal letter of support
Nominators must:
1. Send the request information listed above by email to no later than Friday, July 6, 2018 
2. Enter "Poet Laureate Nomination" in the email subject line

COA will respond with a confirmation email and number.  If you do not receive a confirmation number, then re-submit your email to ensure receipt.
COA will contact nominated poets with an invitation to submit an application for consideration.
Nomination Deadline: Friday, July 6, 2018
Application Deadline: Monday, July 16, 2018
Panel Review: late July 2018
Approval by DECD/COA Arts Council/Notification: late July 2018
Year #1 Funding Period: August 1, 2018 - July 31, 2019
Year #2 Funding Period: August 1, 2019 - July 31, 2020
Year #3 Funding Period: August 1, 2020 - July 31, 2021
Final Reports: Due annually 30 days following the end of each funding period
Past State Poet Laureates
2015 - 2018 Rennie McQuilkin
2010 - 2015
Dick Allen
2007 - 2010 John Hollander
2001 - 2006 Marilyn Nelson

1996 - 2001 Leo Connellan
1985 - 1995 James Merrill 
 For more information, contact:

Tamara Dimitri at


Content Last Modified on 6/4/2018 3:13:08 PM