Call for Nominations & Applications:

5th Albuquerque Poet Laureate.

The nomination process for the 2020-2021 Albuquerque Poet Laureate is now open.  Applications from eligible poets will be accepted from now through March 22nd, 2020.  A nomination is not required for a poet to apply; rather, nominations are meant to encourage and inspire poets to serve their community in the capacity of Poet Laureate.

The Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program (APLP) celebrates poetry by recognizing a resident poet who makes meaningful connections, honors and serves our diverse community, elevates the importance of the art form, and shares poetry with Albuquerque residents.

To date, Albuquerque has had four remarkably active and visible Poets Laureate: Michelle Otero (July 2018 June 2020), Manuel Gonzalez (2016-2018), Jessica Helen Lopez (2014-2016) and Hakim Bellamy (2012-2014). Together they have read and shared poetry at hundreds of events, reaching thousands of Albuquerque residents.

To Apply or Nominate, see the prospective tabs across the top of this page.

2018-20 Albuquerque Poet Laureate

On June 16, 2018, Michelle Otero became Albuquerque’s fourth Poet Laureate.

She is a writer, facilitator, and coach who utilizes creative expression and storytelling as the basis for organizational development and positive social change. Her process of engaging individuals and communities through the expression of shared story has found a wide range of applications, from helping conservation organizations better understand the priorities of traditional land based communities to helping people heal from trauma.


She is the author of Malinche’s Daughter, an essay collection based on her work with women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oaxaca, Mexico as a Fulbright Fellow. Her work has appeared on the Modern Love Podcast and in New Mexico MagazineBrevity, and El Malpaís Review. She is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and a founding member of the TIASO Artist’s Cooperative and Hembras de Pluma, an indigenous and women of color theatre group.

Originally from Deming, New Mexico, Michelle holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She lives in the South Valley where she works with fellow artists and local farmers to implement the Community Table project, which combines art, local agriculture, and economic development as a platform for neighborhood revitalization.