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Durango Poet Laureate Program

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The Durango Poet Laureate Program is proud to announce the 2024 Durango Poet Laureate is Esther Belin and the Rising Poet Laureate for 2024 is Zoe Golden! 

Esther Belin-Poet LaureateEsther is a distinguished poet who has lived in the Durango area since 1997, and has two single-volume poetry books published by the University of Arizona Press, one of which won the American Book Award in 2000. She was one of four editors of The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature which won the American Book Award in 2022. She teaches at Fort Lewis College in the Native American & Indigenous Studies department, and is a faculty mentor in the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing MFA program. 

Zoe is a junior at Durango High School who has published poetry in the Cambridge Hall of Poetry Magazine, the Durango High School newspaper. She is a community bike coach for Everypedal, a member of the National Honors Society, and a member of Durango Climate Action. Zoe Golden - Rising Poet Laureate

The Poet Laureate and the Rising Poet Laureate will serve three-year terms which will commence in January 2024. Their first public poetry reading is slated for early next year, and from there, they will be a constant presence at various community events, sharing their writing with the public. Additionally, you can look forward to a new poetry column in "The Telegraph" newspaper and captivating poetry installations on public buses, all designed to bring the magic of poetry to everyday life. 

The Poet Laureate program is funded by the City of Durango's Lodgers Tax Arts and Culture Fund and administered by the Friends of the Durango Public Library and a Poet Laureate Committee. The program has been created to make a vibrant platform for local poets to share their unique voices while engaging with the community at large.

Press Release Announcing the First Durango Poet Laureate and Durango Rising Poet Laureate

Learn more about the positions:

Poet Laureate Roles and Responsibilities
Funciones y Responsabilidades del Poeta Laureado

Mission Statement: The Durango Poet Laureate shall act as a representative of the poetic arts through recitation of original poetry and attendance at various events and community gatherings, creation of poetry that reflects our unique past and present, and furthering Durango’s creative economy through active engagement with the community. 

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