City of Albuquerque & Albuquerque Public Library Foundation Release One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets: a Poets in the Libraries Anthology

Anthology celebrates Albuquerque's vibrant and diverse poetry scene.

December 13, 2022 - The City of Albuquerque’s fifth poet laureate, Mary Oishi, had an especially difficult task in that role: produce and promote poetry … during a pandemic.

The result was Oishi’s “Poets in the Libraries” series. “Albuquerque has hidden treasures in every neighborhood,” Oishi writes. “Happily, quite a few of those treasures were discovered, including a truck driver, a paramedic, musicians, those who started writing in later years, and those who only ever shared with their family and close friends,” she says of the talent uncovered during the series. Several of the poets in the series performed and published for the first times as a result of the series.

Poets in the Libraries was implemented with the help of Albuquerque public libraries, and library engagement coordinator, Mary Sue Houser. The team invited Albuquerque poets to read at 18 of the city’s public libraries. (The only public library not represented in the anthology is the International District Library, which was under construction during the pandemic.) Poets read virtually from home and also outside and at the city’s public libraries. The readings were recorded and produced as part of GOVTV’s Poets in the Libraries series, which also includes a visual tour and history of each library. All of the Poets in the Libraries videos can be viewed here

Now, a Poets in the Libraries anthology showcases the work from the series and from Albuquerque’s vibrant—and ever-growing—poetry scene. The book features 100 poems, a map of the public libraries, an introduction by Oishi, and a bio for each poet, along with their home library. Poetry is divided into sections including poems on Albuquerque and New Mexico, nature and the environment, animals, relationships, grief and loss, healing and empowerment. The book lifts up our community poets, our city libraries, the poet laureate program, books and publishing, and public and private reading time.

One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets is available at bookstores worldwide, via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, or local bookstores. Each book purchased benefits the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation, co-publisher of the anthology. The book is also available to check out at Albuquerque public libraries. Media, booksellers, teachers, and librarians may request a complimentary copy from the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts & Culture.