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What’s a poet laureate to do?

By Harriet Staff

Two months into his four-year tenure as the state poet laureate of Colorado, Dave Mason is turning to the public for ideas. The Colorado College professor and author of the acclaimed verse-novel Ludlow wants to bring poetry to every corner of the state, but the question is how. Mason wrote an open letter to the public fishing for suggestions about how to best serve his people and make the most of his time as laureate. Our politicians should be more like our poets!

Here are some thoughts from his letter at the Colorado Independent:

I’m interested in developing a mobile conference on the teaching of poetry to support teachers and librarians throughout the state. I’m also interested in doing what I can to support existing programs like Poetry Out-Loud and River of Words.

All I need is for communities to invite me and to begin a conversation about how best I might serve their needs. I’m quite open to any suggestions you have to offer. If communities are able to help out in a small way with expenses, fine, but nobody in my position expects a lot of money—I have a full-time job, after all.

Just so you know, I’m pretty seriously booked up between now and Christmas 2010, but after that my time opens up, and I’m even hoping to be on sabbatical in the 2011-12 academic year. I have a lot of literary responsibilities around the country, but am sure I can clear away time to get to every corner of this state in 4 years.

Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 by Harriet Staff.