CTN peer mentor, Lupe Mendez, has been named 2022 Texas State Poet Laureate. Mendez is a writer, educator and founder of Tintero Projects, which works with Latino writers and other writers of color in the Texas Gulf Coast Region. He is the author of “Why I Am Like Tequila,” which won the 2019 John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters.

The son of an undocumented Mexican father and a Southern Tejana, Mendez states in his bio that his writing reflects his roots in Texas and the Mexican state of Jalisco, and explores issues both political and emotional. His poem “Aguacero” is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, for example, and his poem “How Candles Are Made” is inspired by a news story about a family separated by deportation.

“I want to be able to shine a light on both space/place and people in my capacity as Texas Poet Laureate,” Mendez said. (

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