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Houston Now Has An ‘Ambassador To Poetry’

Houston announced the nomination of its first two-term poet laureate, Gwendolyn Zepeda. The announcement was made by Mayor Annise Parker and Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson after a nomination period and selection committee had their — in this case — woman.


One member of the Houston Poet Laureate Selection Committee, Robin Reagler, Executive Director of Writers in the Schools (WITS) said she was looking for an “ambassador of poetry,” someone that could connect underserved areas in the community to poetry. 

Zepeda mentioned one idea is to engage “through community outreach, collect poems from people in Houston and put them on the poet laureate program website.” She wants crowdsource poetry by neighborhoods to create “a friendly rivalry” in Houston communities.

When asked how she feels about being Houston’s first poet laureate, she admits it is a bit overwhelming, but plans to “respond by immediately going to work on it as hard as I can. I let myself be really, really happy for 15 minutes and now I am in full work-mode on it.”

Zepeda admits she has a lot of work ahead of her, but is excited to do it.  You can follow her on Twitter and on her blog.

Below Gwendolyn Zepeda reads her poem”Hush Now” exclusively for KUHF:



This year San Antonio appointed a poet laureate as well, Dr. Carmen Tafolla. So now, Texas has two major cities with poet laureates.

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