About the Ohio Poet Laureate Program

Overview & responsibilities

The Ohio Poet Laureate has the opportunity to foster the art of poetry, encourage literacy and learning, address central issues relating to the humanities and heritage, and encourage the reading and writing of poetry across the state. Upon invitation, the Ohio Poet Laureate will provide a minimum of 20 public readings/events per year in urban and rural settings across the state that educate students, community members, and business, state, and civic leaders about the value and importance of poetry and creative expression.

The Ohio Poet Laureate will be expected to undertake a significant cultural project during his or her term, such as bringing poetry to people or to a region of the state that might otherwise be underserved in this regard. The Ohio Poet Laureate will engage a variety of constituencies, enriching the lives of residents by sharing and promoting poetry through public appearances, readings, workshops, and digital and social media.

For more information about the Ohio Poet Laureate Process, download the complete Program Overview.

About Ohio's Poet Laureate (2018-19)


Ohio Poet Laureate Dave LucasAs a native Ohioan, born in Cleveland, Dave Lucas earned his B.A. (English) at John Carroll University, M.F.A. (Creative Writing) at the University of Virginia, and M.A. and Ph.D. (English Language and Literature) at the University of Michigan. He has been an instructor at Case Western Reserve University; the Cleveland Clinic Program in Medical Humanities, Lerner College of Medicine; the John Carroll Young Writers Workshop; and Sweet Briar/James Madison University.

His achievements have included: The Reva and David Logan Foundation, For Your Gift grant award; the Cleveland Arts Prize, Emerging Artist in Literature; and a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in Greater Cleveland. His work, Weather, was awarded the 2012 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. His poems are anthologized in The Bedford Introduction to Literature and Best New Poets 2005, among other publications.

Photo by Heidi Rolf