In 2007, Washington established a state poet laureate position, currently held by Elizabeth Austen, who assumed the role on February 1, 2014. Austen is the author of the poetry collection, Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010) and Where Currents Meet (Toadlily Press, 2010). She produces literary programming for KUOW radio, a Seattle NPR affiliate, and is a communications specialist and educator at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

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