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About the 2020-2022 Poet Laureate: Mary Oishi


Mary Oishi is a familiar figure in Albuquerque’s thriving poetry scene: performing, publishing, and producing poetry events. Oishi is the author of Spirit Birds They Told Me (West End Press, 2011), and co-author of Rock Paper Scissors (Swimming with Elephants Publications, 2018), finalist for the New Mexico Arizona Book Award. She is one of twelve U.S. poets in translation in 12 Poetas: Antologia De Nuevos Poetas Estadounidenses (La Herrata Feliz and MarEsCierto, 2017), a project of the Mexican Ministry of Culture. Her poems have appeared in Mas Tequila Review, Malpais Review, Harwood Anthology, and numerous other print and digital publications.

Oishi worked professionally and as an on-air personality in public radio for 25 years, hosting blues shows at four radio stations in New Mexico and Colorado, currently at KSFR-FM Santa Fe, where she hosts a weekly blues show, Wang Dang Doodle.

Her involvement in the work of community and social justice is life-long. She served as lead facilitator for an LGBTQ youth group for seventeen years, was an NGO delegate to the UN World Conference Against Racism in 2001, and produced Peace Buzz, an event of art-as-protest in 2003.

“Poets in the Libraries” is the community outreach project of Albuquerque’s fifth Poet Laureate, Mary Oishi. Each month at a different Albuquerque Public Library, Mary hosts poets who live in the neighborhood nearby each branch for a group reading.

Because of the pandemic, these readings have been recorded and then made available for public viewing. For more information and videos of library readings, please visit:

To read your poem at your neighborhood library, send an email to the Laureate at