Colorado Poet Laureate - David Mason
David Mason of Colorado Springs is our state’s poet laureate. Mason is an accomplished poet and co-director of the creative writing program at Colorado College.
New September 2013: Read the High Country News article about David Mason's four years visiting Colorado communities large and small. http://www.hcn.org/issues/45.16/colorado-poet-laureate-david-masons-four-year-road-trip
“Coloradans benefit in countless ways from a rich and talented arts community,” Gov. Ritter said during a news conference on the West Steps of the State Capitol. “David Mason will be a valuable addition to this tradition as he brings the power of words to communities all across Colorado.”
Mason will serve as an advocate for poetry, literacy and literature at 10-12 events each year, which include presenting the opening poem for the legislative session, visiting local schools, participating in Arts & Humanities Month, and reading at literary festivals. Mason said he intends to travel to all 64 Colorado counties and visit schools, libraries, hospitals, business organizations and many others to share, teach and encourage poetry.
“In short, invite me to your community and I will do all I can to help you foster literacy and this art of many voices,” Mason said. He concluded the news conference by reading one of his poems, “The Picketwire” (listen to the poem by clicking here).
The Governor also thanked Mary Crow for serving as Colorado’s sixth poet laureate from 1996 through 2009. The Colorado Poet Laureate honors an outstanding poet in our state, and supports his or her efforts to promote an appreciation of poetry throughout Colorado. The Colorado Poet Laureate will serve for a four-year term. He or she will give at least eight public presentations per year, including events at the State Capitol, schools, libraries and literary festivals. Colorado Humanities and the Colorado Council on the Arts will assist community hosts with scheduling such events. Read his blog about his experiences thus far as Colorado Poet Laureate by clicking here. To invite Dr. Mason to your community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado was the second state in the country, after California, to name a poet laureate when Alice Polk Hill was appointed by Governor Oliver Shoup in 1919. Since then, five others have served:
- Nellie Burget Miller (1923-1952)
- Margaret Clyde Robertson (1952-1954)
- Milford E. Shields (1954)
- Thomas Hornsby Ferril (1979-1988)
- Mary Crow (1996-2010)
- David Mason (2010-present)