New Mexico Arts

New Mexico Poetry Anthology uplifts voices from every walk of life

October 26, 2023

Greg Gurule

Santa Fe, NM – In the pages of New Mexico Poetry Anthology 2023, readers will find “a multiplicity of voices reflecting the complexity and layers of culture, history, spirituality, and poetic expression that is uniquely Nuevo México.” That’s according to co-editors of the anthology Levi Romero, inaugural New Mexico Poet Laureate, and Michelle Otero, emerita Albuquerque Poet Laureate.  

The anthology represents a significant collaboration between state agencies, particularly New Mexico Arts (NMA) and New Mexico State Library (NMSL). Working with NMA and NMSL, Romero and Otero read submissions to the anthology, which were made anonymous, and made selections based on the work’s strength. Its launch was celebrated in September, and it will arrive on bookshelves across the country this November, bringing that distinct weave of voices beyond the state’s borders.  

“The New Mexico Poetry Anthology would not exist without the efforts of New Mexico Arts and New Mexico State Library,” said Debra Garcia y Griego, Cabinet Secretary of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. “With their connections to the state’s arts communities, New Mexico Arts coordinated the call for work, while the Poetry Center, Levi, and Michelle had their eyes on the work itself. The result is a fabulous and impactful anthology. It is thanks to their combined efforts that the voices of New Mexico ring far and wide.” 

The work represents a broad cohort of New Mexicans across more than 300 pages. The call for work asked for original, unpublished poems that celebrated “the people, cultures, languages, traditions, and querencia” of New Mexico. In making their selections, the co-editors found that a common band of themes coursed through the work, ranging from community, identity, our state’s striking landscape, faith, and more.  

Levi Romero, the inaugural New Mexico Poet Laureate and co-editor of the anthology, believes the poetry forms a community. “No one voice is more important than another,” he said. “In these pages, you will find published poets alongside your next-door neighbors, census workers, poet laureates, 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. It is rewarding to know that we created a space for a multitude of voices to coexist in an anthology that is representative of New Mexico’s diversity.” 

“This exquisite compendium showcases the richness of the poetry community in New Mexico,” said Lauren Camp, the current New Mexico Poet Laureate and poet featured in the anthology. “The voices gathered here move between and illuminate many different perspectives on topics from culture to identity to querencia.” 

New Mexico Poetry Anthology 2023 was a collaboration between New Mexico Arts, New Mexico State Library Poetry Center, and Museum of New Mexico Press. The anthology is now available directly at  

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, theNew MexicoStateLibraryis 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. 

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