Madison proudly boasts that we are one of the first cities in the nation to have a Poet Laureate, reflecting our longstanding poetic tradition and deep historical investment in the literary arts.
Mayor Paul Soglin proclaimed John Tuschen Poet Laureate in 1977 during his 1st term in office. After a 23-year reign as Madison’s colorful bard extraordinaire, Tuschen, whose health was in decline, introduced Andrea Musher to former Mayor Susan Bauman. Bauman proclaimed Andrea Madison’s second Poet Laureate in 2001. After six years in service to our City, Musher decided to pass the torch to Fabu, another Madison poet whose contributions to the community warrant the honor of this position, but not before more formally institutionalizing the Poet Laureate program.
On January 8, 2008, the Madison Common Council passed a resolution formally recognizing the Poet Laureate Program.
In 2011, the City opened nominations for the next Poet Laureate and January 16, 2012, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Mayor Soglin appointed Madison's current Poets Laureate Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman.
For more information about the Madison Poet Laureate Program, please contact Karin Wolf, Arts Program Administrator.