A 2011 Cleburne High School graduate is among 24 Texas students published in a new book, along with 2010 Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton.
Celeste Lozano, 20, said she has been writing poetry since about fifth or sixth grade.
“I really just enjoyed listening to it, reading it,” she said. “You could put a lot of emotion into a poem without writing a lot ... You don’t have to write a novel to get what you want across or for what you want people to feel.”
Morton said she grew up in Mansfield and, after being named poet laureate, wanted to give back to the state by visiting dozens of small towns while sharing her love for poetry.
“You know, I learned about the title of Texas Poet Laureate when I was in middle school,” Morton said. “I was always one of those strange kids, you know, that had a pencil and paper and I was writing poetry forever.
“I went home and told my mom, I want to be Texas Poet Laureate. She said, ‘That’s nice dear. What is that?’”
There has been a Texas Poet Laureate each year since 1932, Morton said. The unpaid position does not require the honoree to do anything specific, but Morton said she wanted to help inspire other kids like her. That’s when she came up with her 18-month Little Town, Texas, tour, during which she traveled around the state logging more than 80,000 miles on her car.
“I remember being that kid and being so inspired of the idea” of having my name in print, she said. “I decided on this Little Town, Texas tour. Nothing inspires you more than seeing your name and your work in print. I wanted to give that chance to as many kids throughout the state of Texas as possible. My main focus was to get poetry from as many places as I could.”
Lozano, who attends Texas A&M University studying agricultural communications and journalism, said she had never expected to be a published writer at such a young age — she wrote the poem her junior year of high school — but had always wanted to see her name in print.
The poem she wrote, “Wonderful Texas,” is about the state’s weather, its geographical features and her love for its uniqueness.
The book, titled “Hometown, Texas: Young Poets and Artists Celebrate Their Roots,” is available for purchase at TCU Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
By Celeste Lozano
Sprawling land, miles wide
Tree trunks grow towards the sky
Armadillos and horned frogs
Dried up fields to marshy bogs.
Frost on the windows
Bright, blooming primrose
Rusting rigs in the west,
Seen by travelers out on a quest.
Strong storms in the east-
Causing bent trees at the very least.
Green all around,
Enthralling those inbound.
Humid and smoggy,
The waves blue and frothy,
Port cities of many types
In the state with one star and two stripes
Miles of suburbs with two main cities,
One of which is a Fort from history.
It is this part that I call home,
And where I wish to rest my world weary bones.
Temperamental and unstable,
This state has no label.
To this day, I’m left breathless,
By this wonderful state of Texas.