Auburn's Poet Laureate


Susan Landgraf Poet Laureate 2018-2020

Susan Landgraf was appointed by the City of Auburn Council as Auburn's Poet Laureate on March 19, 2018. A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed and  invited to compose poems for City occasions and events. Karolyn K. Hughey submitted the nomination for Susan Landgraf as Auburn's 2018-2020 Poet Laureate and shares that "Susan is one of a kind" and is always "bringing out the best in people."

Landgraf is a very talented, respected and well-published poet with a positive personality and charisma that the Arts Commission feels will represent Auburn well in this honorary role. She is a retired Highline College Professor of over 27 years, and has had her work widely published including over 400 poems and essays in more than 150 journals, including Poet Lore, Nimrod, Rattle, The Laurel Review, Third Coast Review and the Cincinnati Poetry Review. In 2017, she had a full-length poetry manuscript published by Tebot Bach, titled What We Bury Changes the Ground. Awards for her work include: the Lois Cranston Memorial Prize; the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry; Society for Humanistic Anthropology award; and the Academy of American Poets Award. She has also participated in many residencies including: Willapa Bay in April 2018; Centrum, Port Townsend, WA; and the Willard R. Espy writing residency award, Oysterville, WA.

Her poetry is insightful and beautiful, exquisitely composed yet relatable. Susan Landgraf will serve as Auburn's Poet Laureate from 2018-2020.

WONDERFUL NEWS!  We are thrilled to announce that the City of Auburn’s Poet Laureate, Susan Landgraf, has been selected as a 2020 Poets Laureate Fellow from the Academy of American Poets! This is an incredible honor, and she will be awarded $50,000 for her proposed civic poetry program in Auburn. Landgraf will partner with the Muckleshoot Tribe and Reservation and the City of Auburn to offer poetry workshops at the Tribal School and in the Auburn Public Schools Tribal Programs, as well as for adults and children at the Tribal Center. The project will culminate in a book of participants’ poems, as well as a series of readings on the Reservation, in the City of Auburn, and at the State Capitol.

For more information about the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow Awards. please take a look at the official press release and the NY Times feature article.

List of Published Work and Awards (PDF)

Selected Poems by Susan Landgraf
Auburn (PDF)
Founder (PDF)
Land of Alkali and Chromate (PDF)
What We Bury (PDF)
What's Left (PDF)

Past Poets Laureate

About the City of Auburn Poet Laureate Position

The City of Auburn Poet Laureate position was established by City Ordinance 6383 in 2011 to recognize and honor a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. The term of service for Auburn’s Poet Laureate is three years. The award is honorific; there is no financial compensation for the position. The Auburn Arts Commission forwards recommendations of qualified applicants to the Mayor for final selection and appointment.

The Auburn Poet Laureate is encouraged to promote the appreciation of poetry and literary life in Auburn through events and opportunities that invite the public to engage with poetry and literature. The Poet Laureate is also invited to participate in various City of Auburn public openings and events throughout the three year term.

For more information on the Auburn Poet Laureate program contact us at

For information on other City of Auburn Arts opportunities visit our Call to Artists page.