New Mexico Poet Laureate Lauren Camp
SANTA FE — New Mexico Arts and the New Mexico State Library, divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs, have announced the appointment of Lauren Camp as the state’s second Poet Laureate, effective immediately.
“I am humbled and grateful to serve as New Mexico’s second Poet Laureate,” Camp said. “I fell in love with New Mexico 28 years ago when I first entered the state, and I put down roots immediately. Thanks to New Mexico I have blossomed into my creative expression—first in visual art and then in poetry. But here I have also learned that my creative abilities grow best when I work to supply others with enthusiasm and tools to amplify theirs.”
Camp will serve as Poet Laureate for a three-year term. During that time, she will support literacy and enhance education, while promoting arts enrichment across the state. Through speaking engagements statewide and programs at schools and libraries, Camp will engage all New Mexicans with poetry. She will also document her travels via web journal and podcast.
“My vision for this three-year term is to help people in every county—all ages, perspectives, and skill levels—to see the shared human experience in poetry,” Camp said. “I also want to encourage the poetic voice of New Mexico residents, especially those who don’t know that a poem can reflect their own story. I welcome collaboration ideas from organizations that want to connect poetry with science, community projects, the environment, the arts, and other directions.”
“Lauren Camp will make an exceptional State Poet Laureate. She is not only a talented poet of national renown, but a gifted teacher with exciting ideas about how to engage the people of New Mexico in the writing, reading, and overall enjoyment of poetry,” said Michelle Laflamme-Childs, executive director of New Mexico Arts. “I look forward to working with Lauren to explore how poetry can help us navigate and process challenges and facilitate our connections with each other.”
Camp has published five poetry collections — Took House, her most recent, received the American Fiction Award in Poetry and was named a Distinguished Favorite for the Independent Press Award. One Hundred Hungers won the Dorset Prize and also was a finalist for the Arab American Book Award, the Housatonic Book Award, and the Sheil Margaret Motton Prize. Turquoise Door: Finding Mabel Dodge Luhan in New Mexico was a finalist for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. She also has enjoyed a career as a visual artist, which saw her portrait series The Fabric of Jazz travel to museums in 10 cities.
Camp lives in a rural community in northern New Mexico and has taught through the state’s Poetry Out Loud program and her own community workshops. She also teaches for Hugo House and Hudson Valley Writers Center.
For the upcoming term, the Poet Laureate selection committee was comprised of poets and educators from across the state. They were Levi Romero, New Mexico’s inaugural State Poet Laureate, Joshua Concha, Taos Poet Laureate, Mary Oishi, former Albuquerque Poet Laureate, and Lindsay Tigue, a poetry professor from Eastern New Mexico University.
About New Mexico Arts
New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. New Mexico Arts administers the state’s One Percent for Public Art program, awards grants to nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural programs in their communities across the state, and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for organizations, artists, and arts educators throughout New Mexico.
About the New Mexico State Library
Established in 1929, the New Mexico State Library is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the guidance of the New Mexico Library Commission. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the New Mexico State Library Foundation through the generous support of donors. The New Mexico State Library provides services that support public and tribal libraries, delivers direct library services to rural populations, state agencies, the visually impaired and physically disabled, and students and citizens conducting research. The library supports public libraries by providing consulting services, offering training and continuing education opportunities, administering the librarian certification program, coordinating a statewide summer reading program and tribal library program, and administering state and federal grants to public libraries.
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