Colorado Poet Laureate - Joe Hutchison

Colorado's Poet Laureate, Joe Hutchison.

On Veterans Day, November 11, One Night Stand Theater will present a theatrical piece Joe Hutchison created called "War of Words," first performed at the Arvada Center earlier this year. November 11 is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which marked the end of World War I. With that in mind, "War of Words" features poetry of "The Great War," primarily poetry by Americans such as Carl Sandburg, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and many others. The show happens at the Vintage Theater on Sunday, November 11, at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are available now-just $5 each at

Governor John Hickenlooper introduced Joe as his choice for Colorado Poet Laureate during a news conference on the West Steps of the State Capitol Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

Hutchison serves as an advocate for poetry, literacy and literature in Colorado, including visiting local schools, participating in Arts & Humanities Month, and reading at literary festivals.  

The Governor also thanked David Mason for serving as Colorado’s seventh poet laureate from 2010 through 2014. The Colorado Poet Laureate honors an outstanding poet in our state, and supports his or her efforts to promote an appreciation of poetry throughout Colorado. The Colorado Poet Laureate serves a four-year term.  To invite Joe Hutchison to your community, please email . To learn more about Joe, please visit his website.

City Limits

for Melody

You're like wildwood at the edge of a city.
And I'm the city: steam, sirens, a jumble
of lit and unlit windows in the night.

You're the land as it must have been
and will be-before me, after me.
It's your natural openness
I want to enfold me. But then
you'd become city; or you'd hide
away your wildness to save it.

So I stay within limits-city limits,
heart limits. Although, under everything,
I have felt unlimited earth. Unlimited you.

by Joe Hutchison

Colorado was the second state in the country, after California, to name a poet laureate when Alice Polk Hill was appointed by Governor Oliver Shoup in 1919. Since then, seven others have served:

  • Nellie Burget Miller (1923-1952)
  • Margaret Clyde Robertson (1952-1954)
  • Milford E. Shields (1954)
  • Thomas Hornsby Ferril (1979-1988)
  • Mary Crow (1996-2010)
  • David Mason (2010-2014)
  • Joe Hutchison (present)