Featuring 2022 Youth Poet Laurette, Elena Gonzales
with Oz Lesham, Joycelyn Shroulote, Jesse Begay, and Fernanda Rodas
November 6, 5:30pm | Sliding Scale Donation
in the CCA Muñoz Waxman Gallery

The 2022 Youth Poet Laurette, Elena Gonzales, will be reading at this special, youth-focused poetry reading event taking place in the studio theater at CCA. Gonzales has curated a line-up of outstanding young poets, including the 2021 Youth Poet Laurette, Oz Lesham, alongside Joycelyn Shroulote (Navajo/Hopi), Jesse Begay (Diné), and Fernanda Rodas (Mexican-Salvadorian-American). Join us Sunday evening, November 6 at 5:30pm, for this remarkable lineup of emerging voices within our community.

Oz Leshem is a poet from Taos, New Mexico. They are the 2021 Santa Fe Youth Poet Laureate and a national gold medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Oz is an editor for Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine. Oz’s work has been published in Teen Ink, Ice Lolly Review, Clear Skies Zine, and Dreams of Montezuma, among others. They are a Miller Scholar, a recipient of the New Mexico State New York Life Award, and a semi-finalist for the 2021 National Student Poets Program.

Joycelyn Shroulote is a sixteen-year-old Indigenous young woman. She is Navajo, Hopi, from Ohkay Owingeh. Joyce is a mixed-media artist. Her main art forms are photography, poetry, graffiti, and murals. She is currently a student at New Mexico School for the Arts in her junior year in the creative writing and literature department. She has worked on murals with the Three Sisters Collective, and Tewa Women United. She also runs her own skateboarding magazine called “What’s The Word” focused on skateboarding and leadership. Her artwork and skate events can be found @joycelix_ on social media platforms.

Jesse Begay is a Diné poet and screenwriter born and raised on the Navajo reservation. They are currently serving as the National Student Poet of the Southwest and attending New Mexico School for the Arts, where they study Creative Writing & Literature.”

Fernanda Rodas is a seventeen-year-old Mexican-Salvadorian-American woman with a profound passion for expressing her thoughts through writing. She is a senior at Mandela International Magnet School, working on her International Baccalaureate Diploma. Shortly after writing her first poem in seventh grade, she began to attend creative writing workshops to deepen her understanding of literary devices, character development, and the beauty of writing from a different perspective. She fell in love with poetry because it allows her to express blunt ideas subtly. She believes that a reader should always be impacted by writing, but with poetry, they should also be left wondering and interpreting. In addition to poetry, she has also branched out to journalism. She have been writing for Generation Next for The Santa Fe New Mexican for about a year, and she is passionate about addressing issues in our community to young audiences. As she prepares for college, she hope to continue writing about her experiences in the form of poetry or journalism, as she believe writing is one of the most influential tools for knowledge.

Elena Gonzales is the 2022 Santa Fe Youth Poet Laureate and a recent graduate of the music department at New Mexico School for the Arts. Originally from Socorro New Mexico, is now a freshman at the College of Nursing and Health professions at Drexel University, in Philadelphia. She is also an avid organizer in any community she resides in, working with Youth United for Climate Crisis Action, the Liberty Scholars for Community Service, and Saving Mothers. All of Elena’s artwork, poetry, and music can be found at @naneegonzo on all social media platforms.