In 2019, Chelsea Rathburn was appointed Poet Laureate of Georgia. In this role, she judges the Poet Laureate’s Prize, an annual statewide high-school contest, appears at schools, libraries, and community organizations, and generally serves as an ambassador for poetry and a champion of the literary arts in Georgia.
In 2021, Rathburn received a Poets Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets to implement Georgia Poetry in the Parks, poetry trails featuring poems by contemporary Georgia poets, in partnership with the Georgia Center for the Book and the DeKalb Library Foundation. Signs along the trails include creative prompts and QR codes where visitors can learn more about the featured poets. Georgia Poetry in the Parks trails can currently be found in Glenlake Park, Arabia Mountain, and the Michelle Obama Trail.