New Taos poet laureate named

Catherine Strisik has a poetry project called 'Poetry in Nature.' This involves placing nature poems on stones, walls and pillars in natural environment locations around Taos written by living poets of Taos County. Courtesy photo

Longtime Taos resident Catherine Strisik has been named the new Taos poet laureate, according to an announcement from Jan Smith, executive director of the local Society of the Muse of the Southwest, also known as SOMOS.

"It is such an honor to be selected as the Taos poet laureate, and I'm so excited to begin my project and spread the aesthetic of poetry throughout Taos County," Strisik, whose term is set to begin Jan. 1, 2020, stated in the announcement.

Strisik's official debut as poet laureate will be at a dinner and reading in her honor planned Jan. 4 at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, 240 Morada Lane. Smith said arrangements are underway for the event. For more information, contact at or (575) 758-0081.

She will also read at the opening of one of the town of Taos council meetings in 2020 and attend a reception for her and current Taos poet laureate Sawnie Morris in early winter at the SOMOS Salon, 108 Civic Plaza Drive. Specific dates are yet to be announced.

Judges who chose Strisik include Town Council member Darien Fernandez, Taos Pueblo potter and teacher Bernadette Track, Taos Art Museum and Fechin House Director Christy Schoedinger Coleman and Taos Public Library Director Kate Alderete.

Through a founding grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation in 2017, SOMOS initiated the first Taos poet laureate. Sawnie Morris' term began Jan. 1, 2018 and continues through Dec. 31 of this year. Morris' project "Poetry in Waiting" involved over 40 installations of excerpts from poems throughout the town of Taos - including Holy Cross Hospital, Taos Pueblo, hair salons, doctors offices, auto repair shops, veterinarian clinics and coffee shops. Many of the locations have requested that their installations remain permanent. For a complete of installations go to

Strisik is author of three poetry collections - "Insectum Gravitis" (Main Street Rag, 2019); "The Mistress," a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Poetry 2017 (3: A Taos Press, 2016); and "Thousand-Cricket Song" (Plain View Press) - and a manuscript-in-progress "Aikaterína."

Her poetry project is "Poetry in Nature," entailing installation of nature poems on stones, walls and pillars in natural environment locations in Taos written by living poets of Taos County.

She is co-founder, co-editor and consulting editor of Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art ( ). Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been awarded numerous grants, honors and residencies.

Strisik has taught group and private poetry workshops to children and adults in Taos for over 35 years. More about the poet can be found at

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