Governor Jared Polis has chosen Denver poet, playwright and co-founder of Cafe Cultura Bobby LeFebre as Colorado's new poet laureate, following Joseph Hutchinson's four years in the position.
LeFebre was selected from a pool of twenty nominees, including finalists Aaron A. Abeyta, Wendy Videlock and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer; the governor made the final decision.
“Bobby LeFebre has an amazing ability to empower and connect communities through the wisdom of his words; that is why we are confident he will make a fantastic poet laureate,” said Polis, who announced the new appointment July 23 at the State Capitol. “He embodies the spirit of a ‘Colorado for All’ where everyone is included. I know he will be a strong advocate for the arts and art education as a way to bring us together."
As poet laureate, LeFebre will champion poetry and literature across the state, offering readings at schools, libraries, literary festivals and the State Capitol. The position includes a $2,000 honorarium and up to $2,000 in travel expenses for each year of his four-year term, funded by Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book and Colorado Creative Industries.
LeFebre currently serves as a commissioner for the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, as a fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute and as an advisory boardmember for the Latino Cultural Arts Center, the Clyfford Still Museum and La Raza. He also wrote the play Northside, which looks at the economic and cultural changes in north Denver; it ran through this past weekend at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center.
"I believe that my ability to impact and/or shape culture lives most authentically in my connection to people through art," LeFebre said in accepting the post. "I am invested in cultural change. Poets are always at the forefront of influencing and changing culture, and before we see large-scale social or political change, it is the heart and soul of issues that change first.”