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Elise Stuart, Silver City Poet Laureate

Silver City has a new Poet Laureate. Elise Stuart was selected by the Southwest Festival of the Written Word and the Silver City Town Council to be the second person to hold this honorary title. She will hold the position for two years.

As Poet Laureate, she will promote expanding the power of the written word in our community, giving voice to young and old, emphasizing the need for expression through poetry. In her new capacity, she is available to give readings of her poetry and others’ around the Grant County area. She notes that, oftentimes, a Poet Laureate is requested to write poems for specific community events and occasions of celebration, and she invites the community to contact her regarding requests of this nature. She can be reached by emailing her at or

One of her goals as Poet Laureate is to empower youth to create their own poems. Using her experiences with teaching children and her familiarity with schools in the area, she envisions a series of poetry workshops for children of all ages.

The theme of the series will be “Writing from the Ground Up” and will focus on the human connection with the natural world and on the poetry that children can and will create in relation to the theme.

A pilot project the first year would include one elementary public school and one alternative middle school. She wants to build a small team of young poets who will help teach poetry to other students in conjunction with her role as mentor.

Since moving to Silver City in 2005, Ms. Stuart has worked for Silver Consolidated Schools as a part of the Art and Music Program that served the elementary schools. She taught music for 3 ½ years for children, K-5, until the program disbanded and has taught music for the Head Start program for the past 5 years.

She was a Montessori preschool teacher for 16 yrs. in Seattle and teaches a summer music program for Silver City’s Guadalupe Montessori School. She also teaches 15 piano students from her home.

Elise belongs to the local poetry reading group, the Thaddeus McPherson Society, and the bi-weekly Writing Group at WNMU. During the past year, she joined Silver City’s first Poet Laureate, Bonnie Maldonado, in presenting poetry readings at Bayard Library and a workshop on Book Spine Poetry. Last fall, she facilitated a panel for the Southwest Festival of the Written Word, where she also read from her own poetry. For the past two years, she organized a poetry reading, inviting people to be part of a celebration of Black History Month, at Yankee Creek Coffeehouse.

Her poems have been published in Poems 2, a book of art and poetry and in “The Rag,” a small poetry collection published in Albuquerque, and in “Sunrise of the Spirit.”

Ms. Stuart may be contacted at
or at

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

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We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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