This story originally appeared on Texas Matters from Texas Public Radio.
Part of the Texas poet laureate’s job is to introduce the power of poetry to every corner of the state. And that’s a charge that current Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla takes very seriously.
Tafolla is launching a project called Planting Poet Trees – sowing seeds of inspiration in Texas Public Schools. She’s looking for schools that are dealing with shrinking budgets and underfunded libraries that she can engage with to participate in writing projects and poetry workshops.
An Advisory Committee will assist Dr. Tafolla in selecting the 20 schools to participate in the Planting Poet Trees program. The State Poet Laureate will visit each school to provide an inspiring motivational speech about the power of education, a poetry reading, and one or two writing workshops. Through poetry readings, Dr. Tafolla can also share this message bilingually with the students, teachers, administrators, parents and family members.
Beloved for her moving performances and poetry readings, Tafolla is a poet, storyteller, performance artist, motivational speaker, and Associate Professor at UT-San Antonio. The author of more than 20 books, she is one of the most widely anthologized of Latina writers. Chosen in 2012 as the first Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio, she presented at more than 300 schools, universities, professional conferences, and community arts centers in her two-year tenure.