Friday, April 13, 2012
Albuquerque Poet Laureate
Many states have named poet laureates, but New Mexico is not one of them. However, Santa Fe named Joan Logghe its poet laureate in 2010, and Albuquerque will soon have a poet laureate of its very own when on Saturday, April 14, Albuquerque will announce the city's first poet laureate.
What exactly does the term "poet laureate" mean? Basically it's someone appointed by a government to compose poems for national events, to represent poetry and writing at events around the country, and also to raise awareness of poetry and its importance to culture. In the United States, the Library of Congress decides who will be poet laureate, with input from past laureates and other writers. Poet laureates of the past in the United States (where the position was created in 1937) have brought poetry writing to schools, exposed the nation to poetry through newspapers and advertising, and started poetry workshops for the public. Most recent US poet laureate Philip Levine has posted audio podcasts, bringing the sound of poetry to a new generation.
Joan Logghe, the current poet laureate of Santa Fe, is a great example of a poet laureate. She has taught poetry workshops in New Mexico schools and prisons for years. She is also the project director of Write Action: Writing from the Heart of AIDS, a grassroots organization which offers writing workshops in Santa Fe and education outreach around northern New Mexico. Her poem, "Something Like Marriage", which talks about her love of New Mexico is featured in the amazing collection of New Mexico writings, In Company. She has also published several books of poetry, including one on her local literary press, Tres Chicas. Her energy has brought poetry into the lives of New Mexicans for many years.
Treat yourself and your family to a morning of poetry at the Main Library on April 14 at 11:00 a.m. and hear Albuquerque's poet laureate announced. This event will include poetry readings from New Mexico Centennial Poet, Levi Romero, and Santa Fe Poet Laureate, Joan Logghe. For more information on Albuquerque's poet laureate program visit abqpoetlaureate.org.
You can also check out poetry happening around New Mexico by going to http://www.abqslams.org/ to see what the Albuquerque slam poetry team is up to, or by clicking on http://www.nmsps.org/ to see what's going on with the New Mexico State Poetry Society. Poets.org also has a special New Mexico page on their website. Also, visit our Poetry LibGuide for a list of poetry events at ABC Libraries, poetry writing tips, & links to some new poetry titles in the catalog. Happy reading!
...Just in! Albuquerque's new Poet Laureate is Hakim Bellamy! Congratulations to Hakim, & for our blog readers, here's a video of him at a poetry reading at UNM Bookstore a few years ago.