Houston Poet Laureate

Leslie Contreras SchwartzPhoto credit: Danielle Chisler

Houston’s new 2019 Poet Laureate is Leslie Contreras Schwartz.

Leslie Contreras Schwartz is the Houston Poet Laureate and a native Houstonian. She is a multi-genre writer whose third collection of poems, Who Speaks for Us Here, is scheduled for spring 2020 publication with Skull + Wind Press.

Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Anomaly, The Missouri Review, The Collagist, [PANK], Iowa Review, Verse Daily, and the anthology Xicanx: 21 Mexican American Writers of the 21st Century edited by ire’ne lara silva (University of Arizona, 2022), among others.

She is a graduate of The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and earned a bachelor's at Rice University. She teaches poetry workshops at Rice University, one focused on social justice poetics.

The Houston Poet Laureate Program is developed and coordinated by the Houston Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The Houston Poet Laureate Program is funded by the City of Houston City’s Initiative Grant Program.


Poet Laureate Events

December 7, 2019 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Songwriting Workshop, Looscan Neighborhood Library 

Create your own songs using poetry and music as guides.  All writing backgrounds welcome!

December 7, 2019 | 6 PM Dinner, 7 PM Show
Rice University, Rice Memorial Center Grand Hall 

Poetry reading at Ritmo! Hispanic showcase at Rice University "La Nueva America"

January 16, 2020 | 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Performance with Houston Grand Opera at the Museum of Fine Arts 

February 10, 2020 | 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Speaking engagement at Houston City Breakfast Club, Harry's 

March 22, 2020 | 4 PM
Book launch of collection of poems, Who Speaks for Us Here (Skull + Wind Press), Brazos Bookstore 

More workshops soon!


Previous Houston Poet Laureate