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Meet Laurie Ann Guerrero, San Antonio's New Poet Laureate

Octavio Quintanilla
Laurie Ann Guerrero.

As of April 1, San Antonio has its second poet laureate in Laurie Ann Guerrero.

"I’m the new poet laureate of San Antonio, and I’m working on a new book,” she said.

Guerrero is just getting used to the new title and the work that it entails, and she has plans for how she wants to go about doing it. Priority one:

“Getting poetry into the hands of our youth" she said. "And what I want to do is use different avenues to do that -- media, events. I kind of want to bombard the city with poems. Inspiration. Comfort.”

Guerrero took over this week from Carmen Tafolla, who is the first to hold the title.

“I consider her one of my dearest friends,” Guerrero said.

“And what did she counsel you about your new position?” I asked.

“Well, she said, 'Don’t be afraid to say no.' It (the post) can be overwhelming. And she also to follow my gut. She said I didn’t have to do things exactly the way she did,” Guerrero said.

So who is our new poet laureate?

“Well, I’m a mom. I’ve got three children: 16, soon to be 13, and nine," she explained.  A boy and two girls. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 17 years. I’ve lived in the South Side my entire life, except for the three years when I was in New England to finish my education.”

Guerrero has some innovative ideas for how to market poetry to this working class city.

“You know, I would love to get spots (on TV) during Spurs games," she said. "If we could get Manu to recite one or two lines, you know? I really want to access the wide community.”

Maybe she’s onto something, as the Spurs are definitely poetry in motion.


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii