New Mexico State Library
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Lauren Camp Named New Mexico’s New Poet Laureate

Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico Arts and the New Mexico State Library, divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs, are delighted to announce the appointment of Lauren Camp as the state’s second Poet Laureate, effective immediately.

A picture of New Mexico Poet Laureate Lauren Camp

“I am humbled and grateful to serve as New Mexico’s second Poet Laureate,” said Camp. “I fell in love with New Mexico 28 years ago when I first entered the state, and I put down roots immediately. Thanks to New Mexico I have blossomed into my creative expression—first in visual art and then in poetry. But here I have also learned that my creative abilities grow best when I work to supply others with enthusiasm and tools to amplify theirs.”

Camp will serve as Poet Laureate for a three-year term. During that time, she will support literacy and enhance education, while promoting arts enrichment across the state. Through speaking engagements statewide and programs at schools and libraries, Camp will engage all New Mexicans with poetry. She will also document her travels via web journal and podcast.

“My vision for this three-year term is to help people in every county—all ages, perspectives, and skill levels—to see the shared human experience in poetry,” said Camp. “I also want to encourage the poetic voice of New Mexico residents, especially those who don’t know that a poem can reflect their own story. I welcome collaboration ideas from organizations that want to connect poetry with science, community projects, the environment, the arts, and other directions.”

“Lauren Camp will make an exceptional State Poet Laureate. She is not only a talented poet of national renown, but a gifted teacher with exciting ideas about how to engage the people of New Mexico in the writing, reading, and overall enjoyment of poetry,” said Michelle Laflamme-Childs, executive director of New Mexico Arts. “I look forward to working with Lauren to explore how poetry can help us navigate and process challenges and facilitate our connections with each other.”

Camp has published five poetry collections — Took House, her most recent, received the American Fiction Award in Poetry and was named a Distinguished Favorite for the Independent Press Award. One Hundred Hungers won the Dorset Prize and was also a finalist for the Arab American Book Award, the Housatonic Book Award, and the Sheil Margaret Motton Prize. Turquoise Door: Finding Mabel Dodge Luhan in New Mexico was a finalist for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. She has also enjoyed a career as a visual artist, which saw her portrait series The Fabric of Jazz travel to museums in ten cities.

Camp lives in a rural community in northern New Mexico and has taught through the state’s Poetry Out Loud program and her own community workshops. She also teaches for Hugo House and Hudson Valley Writers Center.

For the upcoming term, the Poet Laureate selection committee was comprised of poets and educators from across the state. They were Levi Romero, New Mexico’s inaugural State Poet Laureate, Joshua Concha, Taos Poet Laureate, Mary Oishi, former Albuquerque Poet Laureate, and Lindsay Tigue, a poetry professor from Eastern New Mexico University.

About New Mexico Arts: New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. New Mexico Arts administers the state’s One Percent for Public Art program, awards grants to nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural programs in their communities across the state, and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for organizations, artists, and arts educators throughout New Mexico.

About the New Mexico State Library: Established in 1929, the New Mexico State Library is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the guidance of the New Mexico Library Commission. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the New Mexico State Library Foundation through the generous support of donors. The New Mexico State Library provides services that support public and tribal libraries, delivers direct library services to rural populations, state agencies, the visually impaired and physically disabled, and students and citizens conducting research. The library supports public libraries by providing consulting services, offering training and continuing education opportunities, administering the librarian certification program, coordinating a statewide summer reading program and tribal library program, and administering state and federal grants to public libraries.

Brandon Brown

Invite the Poet Laureate!

New Mexico Poet Laureate Lauren Camp is available to attend programs and events in person or by Zoom. Please use the form above to request her attendance.

To check out more of Lauren’s work and to learn about upcoming events, visit


Contact: NM State Library Poetry Center at





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Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, NM
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Other Poet Laureates Around New Mexico

Levi Romero, Inaugural New Mexico Poet Laureate, 2020-2023

New Mexico’s first poet laureate, Levi Romero blends street sense with a love for acequias, history, and culture. Romero’s spirited, panoramic poetry is rooted in his querencia, the uniquely New Mexican love for home and place. 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 is the co-author of Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland (2013), and author of A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works (2008), In the Gathering of Silence (1996), and other publications. His work has been published throughout the U.S., Mexico, Spain, and Cuba. Romero was named the centennial poet for New Mexico for 2012, an honorary post. A winner of numerous awards, including the 2009 New Mexico Women's Press Excellence in Communications Award and the 1996 PBS Bill Moyers Language of Life Award in Poetry. A research scholar, he has recently taught creative writing, Chicana and Chicano studies, and cultural landscape studies at the University of New Mexico.

Anna C. Martinez, Albuquerque's Sixth Poet Laureate, 2022-2024

Anna C. Martinez is a civil rights attorney, legislative analyst, poet, mother, and grandmother. She was born in Los Angeles to a closet singer seamstress and an artist activist at the height of the civil rights movement. Martinez was then raised in her parents’ hometown of Española, NM, when her family returned to reconnect with their roots. Martinez was first published in 2014 in anthologies La Palabra: the Word is Woman with Albuquerque Poet Laureate Emeritus Jessica Helen Lopez, and Lowriting: Shots, Rides and Stories from the Chicano Soul with artists such as Lalo Alcaraz, and Gustavo Arellano. Her first book of poetry Pura Puta, A Poetic Memoir, was recently published and released nationally by Zachary Hively and Casa Urraca Press.

Laura Tohe, The Navajo Nation's Second Poet Laureate, 2015-Current

Laura Tohe is an Arizona-based poet and the current Navajo Nation Poet Laureate. She is of the Sleep Rock People clan and born for the Bitter Water People clan. Tohe is the daughter of a Navajo Code Talker. She’s authored three poetry collections, numerous librettos, an anthology of Native women’s writing, and an oral history on the Navajo Code Talkers. Tohe’s awards include the 2020 Academy of American Poetry Fellowship and the 2019 American Indian Festival of Writers Award. She is a professor emerita with distinction at Arizona State University.

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington, Santa Fe's Sixth Poet Laureate, 2021-2023

An uprooted Southerner who is now a New Mexican, Darryl Wellington has been a professional journalist for the over 20 years. His articles, fiction and poetry appear in The Nation, The Atlantic, Dissent, The Washington Post, Boston Review, Yemassee magazine, Drum Voices, Matter Monthly, Pedestal magazine, ABZ magazine, Santa Fe Literary Review, Radius magazine, Blood Tree Literature magazine, Turtle Island Quarterly, Yellow Medicine Review, and other places. His writing is anthologized in MFA vs. NYC (FSG, 2014) and Santa Fe Noir (Akashic Books, 2020). He is also a performance artist. His previous chapbook, Life's Prisoners, received the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly poetry prize.

Joshua Concha, Taos' Third Poet Laureate, 2022-2023

Joshua Concha is an Indigenous multi-media artist and writer who has been a tribal resident of the Taos Pueblo for twenty-five years. Concha has worked in a wide range of media (including film and digital storytelling, music, stone, and metal sculpture, silversmithing, and watercolor). His poem, “Rust” was chosen by the previous Poet Laureate, Catherine Strisik, as one of the fifteen poems installed in outdoor venues in Taos. His poems were also selected for “Poetry in Public Places” (2018 & 2019) and have been published in The Notebook: A Progressive Journal About Women and Girls with Rural and Small Town Roots and 200 New Mexico Poems: Celebrating the Centennial and Beyond.

Allison Waterman, Silver City and Grant County's Fifth Poet Laureate, 2021-2023

Allison Waterman is an avid reader, writer, and researcher who has been published many times, having her poetry, short stories and newspaper columns celebrated locally and nationwide. She was a member of Silver City Slam and participates in Poetry Bread events. She cherishes her three sons and two brothers and finds joy in the everyday happenings of life, particularly in the mountains and hot springs of Southern New Mexico. Allison has lived in Silver City on and off since 1995. She is a WNMU graduate student and runs the Writing Center on campus, which fills her with purpose and enthusiasm.


We Are Thankful

We are thankful for the faith and prayers
Our ancestors left us.

We are thankful for the early winter snow
Received after the long drought of summer.

We are thankful for remedios, te de cota, manzanilla, osha,
And other natural remedies that help cure our ailments.

We are thankful for the warmth of the sun
On our faces in the morning.

We are thankful for the evening breeze
That soothes our long day into night.

We are thankful for the moonlight,
How it lights our dream path toward morning.

We are thankful for our family, children, grandchildren, friends,
And for the strangers who enter into our lives with love and compassion.

We are thankful for our health, our homes, our jobs, our community.
We are thankful for the hope that envelops us in the darkest hours.

— Levi Romero, former poet laureate of New Mexico, November 2020

The New York Times asked poets laureate from across the country what the people in their states had to be thankful for during the Covid pandemic.