Two Poet Laureates Reflect On The Power Of Words In The Colorado Cities They Represent

Listen Now
Photo: Poet Laureates
Ayla Sullivan is the youth poet laureate of Denver; Assetou Xango is the poet laureate of Aurora.

Poetry has been transformative for 20-year-old Ayla Sullivan. It was an outlet to deal with custody battles as a kid and, when Sullivan found slam poetry as a teen, it was a conduit for self-discovery and expression. Now, Sullivan is the new youth poet laureate of Denver and hopes to share that power of language with other young people. As does Assetou Xango, who's 26 and the new Aurora poet laureate.

In addition to being a poet, Sullivan also acts and is a theater and secondary English education student at the University of Colorado Boulder. Sullivan says poetry has been transformative. Xango has founded several poetry venues in cities like Denver and San Francisco and works for Creative Strategies for Change, a nonprofit focused on social justice.

Sullivan and Xango spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Read poetry about each of their respective cities:

Printed with permission by Assetou Xango.