A Houston Independent School District educator has been named Texas Poet Laureate.
Lupe Mendez is an HISD teacher development specialist with more than ten years of experience with the district. The former classroom teacher has also received fellowships from CantoMundo, Macondo, and the Crescendo Literary/Poetry Foundation.
Mendez is an internationally published writer. His work is featured in The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast Journal, the Texas Review, Poetry Magazine, and Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets.
“I am elated to be selected for such a distinct honor,” Mendez said. “It is a time for celebration and a time to serve as a model writer, poet and artist to fit the needs of the time, the movement and the people of Texas.”
Mendez works with emerging writers of color who reflect the diversity of local Texas communities. Additionally, he has been a performance poet for nearly 20 years. His latest collection, Why I am Like Tequila won the 2019 John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry.
The Texas Legislature recently announced the poet laureate appointment. Mendez will serve his one-year term in 2022.