Pikes Peak Library District names new Poet Laureate

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– The Pikes Peak Library District has named the region’s very first Pikes Peak Poet Laureate since 2017.

Ashley Cornelius is a nationally-celebrated spoken-word poet whose work has been featured at TEDx Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, the Colorado Springs Women’s March, Denver Public Library, Colorado Nonprofit Association and many other stages in Colorado.

Cornelius was also the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam Colorado Springs representative and competed at the national level. She was voted Colorado Springs Independent Best of Artist in 2019 and Rising Star of the Colorado Springs Business Journal in 2021.

Dustin Booth, project chair and PPLD manager for the Knights of Columbus Hall, “She will be an incredible ambassador for the arts in the Pikes Peak region and her poetry inspires those who witness her work to think deeper about the roles we all play in our community.”

Cornelius will serve for two years, starting in late October, and will be working with PPLD to build a literary arts community in poetry by developing the community’s appreciation for written and performance poetry.

“This is an incredible honor, and I am excited to serve as the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate,” said Cornelius. “My intentions are to reach as many people as we can through poetry and storytelling and to be a champion for equity, diversity, and inclusion in our local creative spaces.”

An inauguration ceremony will be held to formally appoint Cornelius on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Knight of Columbus Hall in Colorado Springs, Colo. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with presentations given by several local rising stars in the poetry community, with the keynote presentation being delivered by Cornelius herself.

To learn more about PPLD and the ceremony, click here.

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