As The Denver Foundation planned its move from Cherry Creek to Casa Grande, a historic building in Capitol Hill, we sought a theme to unite the spaces where our staff and the community will do our work together. We wanted the meeting rooms and gathering spaces to reflect a new era of The Denver Foundation, now physically rooted even closer to the communities we’ve served for nearly 100 years.
We realized that the neighborhood surrounding our new home provided the perfect theme. Casa Grande is located in what’s known locally as “Poets Row.” Most of the buildings are named for literary giants, from Mark Twain and Louis May Alcott to Thomas Carlyle and Emily Dickinson. We elected to embrace the spirit of the district by naming rooms in Casa Grande for contemporary poets in Colorado, honoring the legacy and living history of poetry in Colorado while celebrating poets who embody The Denver Foundation’s vision of a creative and inclusive future. All of the buildings on Poets Row are named for white writers; we wanted the nine meeting spaces in Casa Grande to more authentically represent the diverse backgrounds and points of view of the poets, and people, of Colorado. We asked the community for help.
In April 2020, The Denver Foundation issued an open call for nominations to The Poets Project at Casa Grande. We received dozens of nominations for poets from across the state and read scores of their poems; each one provided a view into the experiences and insights, joys, and challenges of people who share our Colorado home. Volunteer members of a review committee made the final selections.
This collection is a sampling of work from the nine extraordinary poets that were chosen for The Poets Project at Casa Grande: Frederick Bosco, Linda Hogan, Bobby LeFebre, Sheryl Luna, Jovan Mays, Adrian H Molina, Chris Ransick, Suzi Q. Smith, and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.
Each one of these poems was written to connect with you, the reader, to inspire reflection, and maybe even a poem of your own. We hope you enjoy this collection, which is The Denver Foundation’s gift to our new neighbors as well as the communities we’ve worked alongside for generations.