Paulann Petersen is the sixth Oregon Poet Laureate, having been appointed by Governor Kulongoski in April, 2010. She is the second woman to hold the title that was established in Oregon in 1923.
Ms. Petersen was born and raised in Portland and attended Pamona College and Southern Oregon University where she earned BS and MS degrees in humanities and fine and performing arts. In addition, she did graduate work as a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. Coincidently, she studied under two previous poets laureate, Stafford Holbrook and Lawson Inada.
She has taught English at West Linn High school and Mazama High School in Klamath Falls, and has conducted a number of college and adult writing workshops around Oregon. She is widely published with five books, four chapbooks, and scores of articles in numerous literary publications. She serves on the Friends of William Stafford Board of Trustees and instigated and organized the William Stafford Birthday Celebrations involving dozens of writing events in Oregon, the US, and abroad.