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Updated with Speakers - Poetry Book Event: An Ode and Homage to Nuestra Querencia, Our Beloved Homeland

New Mexico’s Community of Poets Showcased in New Anthology, Reading Set for October 29 at the Albuquerque Museum.
October 19, 2023

The Albuquerque Museum will host a poetry reading in its Ventana Salon from 1 to 3 p.m. followed by a book signing on Sunday, Oct. 29 to celebrate the publication of New Mexico Poetry Anthology 2023 edited by Levi Romero and Michelle Otero. Inaugural New Mexico Poet Laureate Romero and Albuquerque Poet Laureate Emerita Otero will be joined by a selection of contributors to the volume representing the 218 poets included in the anthology. The event is free; books will be available for purchase.

Poets reading at the Albuquerque Museum event include: Sharon Rhutasel Jones; Jennifer Alexander; Rebecca Aronson; Rachel Ballentine; Héctor Contreras-López ; Jim Dudley; Damien Flores; Manuel Gonzalez; Verónica Gonzales; Enrique Lamadrid; Leonard Madrid; Zahra Marwan; Mary Oishi; Senator Bill O'Neill; Erin Radcliffe; Sirena Rayes; Joel Wigelsworth; and Gabino Noriega.   

Poet contributors from other New Mexico communities will participate in book events to be organized and held throughout the state over the next year.

In the anthology published by the Museum of New Mexico Press, celebrated poets and writers from all walks of life come together in a carefully curated selection of 229 poems exploring themes on community, culture, history, identity, landscape, and water. From a diverse group of poets representing all parts of the state, the poems are introspective and personal; reflective and astute; steady and celebratory.

In their introduction, Romero and Otero write, “These voices rise as a canto, singing the joys, sorrows, and praises of individual experiences to form a poetry collective that encompasses the poetic-cultural landscape that is New Mexico.”

Including poignant, unique, even humorous perspectives on life in New Mexico influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, this anthology serves as a welcome remedio (remedy) to all aspects of post-pandemic life, for ears aching for words of beauty, strength, and solace as we emerge from the cocoon of survivability.

“Like the voices filling post office lobbies and general stores, and in the resolanas of our childhood homes of Dixon and Deming, the voices gathered here form a community. No one voice is more important than another. In these pages you will find published poets alongside your next-door neighbors, census workers, poets laureate, teachers, senators, high school students, professors, healthcare workers, doctors, and spoken-word artists, all revealing something of themselves that can only be felt through poetry.” —Levi Romero (New Mexico Inaugural Poet Laureate) and Michelle Otero (Emerita Albuquerque Poet Laureate)

Romero is from the Embudo Valley of New Mexico, and he earned a BA and an MA in architecture at the University of New Mexico. A bilingual poet whose language is immersed in the regional manito dialect of northern New Mexico, Romero was named the centennial poet for New Mexico for 2012, an honorary post, and in 2020 he was named New Mexico’s Inaugural Poet Laureate. A research scholar, he has taught creative writing, Chicana and Chicano studies, and cultural landscape studies at UNM where he is associate professor in Chicana and Chicano studies.

Otero, formerly the Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, founded by Sandra Cisneros for socially engaged writers to advance creativity, foster generosity, and serve community. Originally from Deming, New Mexico, Otero holds a BA in history from Harvard College and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College.