Denver native named next Colo. poet laureate

Photo: Poet laureate Joseph HutchisonColorado’s new poet laureate Joseph Hutchison wants to bring poetry into Colorado schools.

Hutchison began a four-year term Tuesday as Colorado’s literary ambassador. Accepting the job this morning on the steps of the state Capitol, Hutchison said teachers inspired his love of literature, and he wants to help today’s educators use poetry in the classroom.

"Poetry addresses culture, history, politics, psychology, philosophy -- all of that," he says. "There’s no reason why poetry can’t be integrated into every aspect of teaching."

Hutchison is Colorado’s seventh poet laureate. Colorado was the second state in the country to create the position, in 1919.

Hutchison is the author of more than a dozen book collections of poetry and has taught classes from elementary through high school in Colorado and Oregon. He is replacing David Mason of Colorado Springs, the co-director of creative writing at Colorado College.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.