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Colorado Poets Laureate Anthology

Uplifting Colorado Poetry, Inspiring New Poets

We're creating the first book of poetry from all the Colorado Poets Laureate

How Far Have We Come?  The Colorado Poets Laureate Anthology is a groundbreaking book featuring poetry from the ten individuals who have served as Colorado Poets Laureate. This anthology aims to compile their best works, including unpublished pieces, and use the profits from sales to fund poetry events in rural, lower-income schools and libraries. The project seeks to support the institution of the poet laureateship and create a collaborative model that other states can emulate.

In Colorado, lower income and rural communities have lower access to poetry and the literary arts. As a result, youth and adults in these areas have fewer opportunities to engage from this art form and the benefits of self expression. In fact, there are whole counties where not a single Colorado Poet Laureate has visited in 30 years! The Colorado Poets Laureate Anthology will use a revenue-generating social enterprise to raise money to close this access gap. 

Poetry remains popular among U.S. readers, and the increasing appointment of poets laureate in cities, towns, and states demonstrates a growing audience. This anthology hopes to pioneer a collaborative approach in honoring poets laureate, setting a precedent for similar projects nationwide. The book's development involves a committee comprised of the five living Colorado poets laureate, each accomplished with a substantial literary background and accolades. In collaboration with social entrepreneur Turner Wyatt as the Project Director, the anthology intends to blend artistry with commercial success. 

A portion of the book's proceeds will contribute to supporting the Colorado Poet Laureate by establishing a fund, which will to provide grants to Colorado Poets Laureate, allowing them to attend poetry readings and events in lower income and rural schools and libraries.  Additionally, the anthology presents an overdue opportunity to compile and publish a comprehensive collection of the laureates' works.

This anthology will span over 100 years of Colorado's poetic history. Starting with the current Poet Laureate, Andrea Gibson, the book will traverse back in time to Alice Polk Hill in 1919. All five living poets laureate, Andrea Gibson, Bobby LeFebre, Joseph Hutchinson, David Mason, and Mary Crow, have committed to collaborating on this project. These poets bring diverse experiences and writing styles to the anthology.

Furthermore, the anthology aims to highlight the works of the preceding five deceased poets laureate: Thomas Hornsby Ferril, Milford Shields, Clyde Robertson, Nellie Burget Miller, and Alice Polk Hill. The editorial committee plans to curate the best poems from these writers, providing readers with a comprehensive view of the poetic legacy from the inception of the Colorado laureateship.

The book's structure includes individual chapters for each laureate, featuring a brief historical and biographical introduction followed by a selection of their poems. 

"How Far Have We Come? The Colorado Poets Laureate Anthology”  aims to celebrate the rich poetic tradition of Colorado by honoring past and present poets laureate while also increasing access to poetry for lower income and rural communities.

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