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Our View: Share what’s on your mind in poems

According to the Poetry Foundation, young people are naturally receptive to poetry and are its most appreciative audience. We don’t know how this concept was measured. But after reading some poems by Durango High School junior Zoe Golden, Durango’s Rising Poet Laureate for 2024, we are more persuaded.

April is National Poetry Month, a time to honor and celebrate poets and their craft. Golden is helping us get in the spirit by sharing her opinions about poetry, and what poetry means in her life. She’s already been published in Cambridge-Hall of Poetry Magazine and DHS’ newspaper.

We’ve also invited Esther Belin, 2024 Durango Poet Laureate, to join us. Belin’s body of work is wondrous and important, with two single-volume poetry books published by the University of Arizona Press – “Of Cartography: Poems” in 2017 and “From the Belly of My Beauty,” which won the American Book Award in 2000. Belin was also an editor of “The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature,” which won the American Book Award in 2022.

In early March, we attended the Native Lens program at the Durango Film Festival, where Belin read – she was a force.

On her website, Belin writes: “I see myself as an interpreter of what happened in my parents’ generation, and I want to let people know about their experiences, especially with boarding schools and relocation. I see my books as an anthropological text – telling what it’s like for Native people.”

Fortunately for students, she teaches at Fort Lewis College in the Native American & Indigenous Studies department, and is a faculty mentor in the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing MFA program.

For those of us regular poetry hacks, lacking in the refined skills demonstrated by Belin and Golden, our Opinion section may be a place for your poems in April.

Just like letters, our maximum word count is 250. Please, use our online form at https://www.durangoherald.com/letter-to-the-editor/.

As always, keep it clean. If your poems don’t pass our family-newspaper-appropriateness standard, we will let you know.