Michelle Otero (2018-2020) holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She spent her time as Albuquerque Poet Laureate (2018-2020) working on a collection of bosque poems and co-hosting a monthly series of bosque walks with a different local poet. She’s also a founding member of the TIASO Artist’s Cooperative and Hembras de Pluma, an indigenous and women of color theatre group.
Manuel Gonzalez (2016-2018) is the first Laureate born and raised in Albuquerque. He’s a proud Burqueño who spent his reign performing at the Albuquerque Museum and bringing a poetry slam program into high schools. Gonzalez went on to publish his second book, Om Boy, in 2019. He’s represented the City plenty of times on a national level as a member of the Albuquerque Slam Poetry Slam Team.
Jessica Helen Lopez (2014-2016) spent many years running in the slam poetry circuit in the Duke City. In 2014 she was honored with the title as the second poet laureate of Albuquerque and became the first female with the designation. Lopez has twice represented our city as the Women of the World ABQ Champion at national events. She is currently an adjunct instructor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA).
Hakim Bellamy (2012-2014), the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico and is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion. His poetry has been published on the Albuquerque Convention Center, on the outside of a library, in inner-city buses and in numerous anthologies across the globe. Bellamy’s public speaking accolades have continued after his title ended. He hosts a variety of public events, can be spotted and heard in local promotional media, and is currently the Deputy Director of the Department of Arts and Culture for the City of Albuquerque.