Wisconsin Names New Poet Laureate

Dasha Kelly Hamilton of Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s new poet laureate for 2021-22. This individual who holds this title plays a crucial role in keeping the arts accessible and vital to all age groups and serves as a statewide emissary for poetry and creativity.

“Dasha Kelly Hamilton’s infectious energy and demonstrated history of transforming lives through the written and spoken word make her the perfect ambassador for poetry in the state of Wisconsin,” said Nick Demske, chair of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. “Her reputation precedes her, and we know that Wisconsin residents will benefit in many ways from this outstanding poet.”

Hamilton succeeds fellow Milwaukeean Margaret “Peggy” Rozga, who was the state’s eighth poet laureate. At first, Rozga traveled the state extensively to offer in-person workshops and readings. When the pandemic set in, she shifted her focus to growing the poet laureate’s social-media following, delivering 26 virtual presentations and appearing on radio and TV shows. She also published a poetry anthology, Through This Door: Wisconsin in Poems, with Madison Poet Laureate and co-editor Angela Trudell Vasquez.