Poet Laureate

The Ellensburg Poet Laureate’s role is to enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in Ellensburg. The Poet Laureate plays a crucial role in keeping the arts accessible and vital to all age groups and acts as a citywide emissary for poetry and creativity. The Poet Laureate will work with the Ellensburg Arts Commission (EAC) and other community organizations to raise awareness of poetry and the literary arts during their tenure. The Poet Laureate’s term of service is one year and is renewable annually for up to three years. 

2023 Poet Laureate

Marie Marchand

Marie Marchand is the first Poet Laureate of Ellensburg. Her poetry has been published in Crannóg Magazine, Catamaran Literary Reader, California Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Tiny Seed Journal, Tikkun Magazine, and The Awakenings ReviewShe has two books of poetry: Pink Sunset Luminaries (2018) and Gifts to the Attentive (Winter Goose Publishing, 2022). Her poetry has been recognized by the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, Wyoming Writers, Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, and Eugene V. Shea Contest. Marie enjoys giving poetry readings and community workshops. Read her poetry at mishiepoet.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @mishiepoet. 

Read Marie’s poem “Witnesses of Dawn" recently published in Tikkun Magazine. The poem was composed for the Central Washington University Chamber Choir and performed at their December 2nd candlelight concert: https://www.tikkun.org/witnesses/

Photo by Sami Jo Photo.



Walking Chapbook Call WALKING CHAPBOOK PROJECT: Theme: In the Spirit of Unity

Open Call for Submissions through January 15, 2024

The Ellensburg Arts Commission’s Poet Laureate Program is inviting submissions to the Walking Chapbook Project, a temporary public art installation on the theme of UNITY. Poems chosen will be featured on storefront windows in downtown Ellensburg during National Poetry Month 2024. Entries should be family-friendly and inspire hope and positivity. A roving launch will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 1 p.m.


  • Open to poets living in Central Washington
  • Submit a poem in 13-point font (poems will be displayed in 13-point font on 8.5 x 11)
  • Poem should be 35 lines or fewer (including title and all spaces)
  • Poem should be the original work of the poet(s)
  • Poem may have multiple authors (unity, yay!)
  • Email your best poem (without your name) as a Word or PDF document to City of Ellensburg Arts & Economic Development Manager     Kelle Vandenberg: vandenbergk@ci.ellensburg.wa.us between November 1st and January 15, 2024
  • Put “Walking Chapbook Submission” in the subject line
  • In the body of the email, include your poem title along with your name and contact information
  • Entries will be judged blindly by Ellensburg Poet Laureate Marie Marchand and Ellensburg Arts Commission Chair Alex Eyre
  • Up to 30 poems will be chosen for the project
  • Poets will be notified by February 1, 2024

April is National Poetry Month

City Proclamation

What other cities in Washington State have Poet Laureates? 

Washington | Academy of American Poets

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