Sawnie Morris - Taos Poet Laureate 2018
SOMOS and the Town of Taos are pleased to announce the selection of the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Taos, Sawnie Morris. The Poet Laureate initiative, created by SOMOS in conjunction with the Town of Taos, will raise awareness of Taos as a national center for the contemporary literary arts, in keeping with the area’s historic importance as a gathering place for prominent writers and artists.
Morris will attend a Town Council meeting on January 23, 2018, along with SOMOS Director, Jan Smith, who will announce the Poet Laureate Position. Morris will share a poem with Mayor Barrone and Town Council members, as well as the public-in-attendance.
The Inaugural Taos Poet Laureate is a nationally recognized poet, whose full-length collection of poems, Her, Infinite won the 2015 New Issues Press Poetry Award, (judge: Major Jackson). Other recent honors include Poets & Writers “Five Over Fifty” (2016); the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize (2016); inclusion in Best American Experimental Poetry: 2016 (Wesleyan University Press), Renga for Obama (Harvard Review, 2016), and Poetry (2017). Morris also received a Poetry Society of America Award in 2010 and was co-winner of the New Mexico Book Award for poetry, in 2007.
With funding from the Witter Bynner Foundation and with approval from the Town of Taos, SOMOS recruited four judges and announced open applications in October, 2017, for the inaugural Taos Poet Laureate position to begin a two year term on January 1, 2018. After review of the applications, which included three poems and a vision statement for the position, the judges selected Morris, in mid-December, 2017. The four judges included Ceramic Sculptor artist: Deborah Rael-Buckley; Middle School teacher and Town Councilman: Nathaniel Evans; Director of the UNM Library: Kathleen Knoth; and musician/artist/writer: Joshua Concha.