Gov. Jared Polis announced on Wednesday that Andrea Gibson has been selected as the new Colorado Poet Laureate. The Boulder-based queer activist, author and slam poet will serve in the role for two years.
"Andrea Gibson is an inspiring Colorado artist. Colorado's Poet Laureate is an ambassador of the arts and someone who can truly share their talents while inspiring the artistic abilities within ourselves. Andrea's voice holds a fierce conviction in inspiring others to pursue art and take action toward solving social issues and they personify our Colorado for All spirit. I know Andrea will be a strong advocate for the arts and art education as a way to bring us together, has a strong desire for unity and to bring people together through poetry," said Polis in a statement. "I want to thank Bobby for four years of service. When Bobby was appointed to this position, he embraced it fully. And over the last four years, he has represented our state and the arts better than we could've ever imagined."
Gibson is a four-time Denver Grand Slam Champion and the author of six full-length collections of poetry. According to the Governor's Office: They are a two-time winner of the Independent Publishers Award, a three-time Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist, and the winner of the first Women's World Poetry Slam. In 2017, Penguin Books published Take Me With You, an illustrated collection of Gibson's most beloved quotes, and in 2019, Chronicle Books published their first nonfiction endeavor, How Poetry Can Change Your Heart. As the new Colorado Poet Laureate, Gibson plans to help other people fall in love with poetry.
"I want to come up with new and inventive ways to help a larger population fall in love and appreciate poetry. I want everyone to have a poem that they can go to like you would with a song. Poetry can be the vehicle that allows us to know each other and expand humanity. That's what I hope to help do with this role," said Gibson in a statement.
Gibson succeeds Bobby LeFebre who was the youngest Poet Laureate and the first Poet Laureate of color. LeFebre has appeared in more than 130 events since 2019.
According to the Governor's Office, and the Colorado Creative Industries division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, "the Poet Laureate serves as an active advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature by participating in readings and other events at schools, libraries, literary festivals, and the State Capitol. Gibson will also provide the governor with an annual account of the impact and success of the Colorado Poet Laureate program and prepare a poem for the opening of the legislative session upon request."
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