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Wrong Bonnie Maldonado?

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado

Professor Emerita


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Background Information

Employment History

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado

Inaugural Poet Laureate

Silver City Sun-News

Facilitator and An Poet

The Western Institute for Lifelong Learning

Book Publishing Specialist

Wheatmark Inc

Family Facilitator

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Dean and Professor Emeritus
Western New Mexico University


Aldo Leopold High School

college degrees




social services and counseling


teacher education and counseling

Western New Mexico University

doctoral degree

Boston University


counseling psychology

New Mexico State University

Web References (51 Total References)

Western Institute for Lifelong Learning - SUMMER 2012 COURSES [cached]

FACILITATOR BIO: Bonnie Maldonado is a Professor Emerita, WNMU; she is a past WILL Facilitator and an award-winning poet. She was chosen in Spring, 2012, as the first Silver City Poet Laureate. Facilitator: Bonnie Buckley Maldonado Enrollment Limit: 15 Date/Time: 4 Sessions. Mondays, October 1, 8, 15, 22; 2:30-4:00 PM

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado was ... [cached]

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado was introduced as Silver City's first ever poet laureate during Tuesday's Town Council meeting, where she read her poem Short Shorts and Mustard Weed.

SILVER CITY ---- The already vibrant local art scene got a little more colorful this week when Silver City's first ever poet laureate was introduced at Tuesday's Town Council meeting.
Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, who has lived in Silver City for 52 years, was selected by a seven-member committee to fill the two-year ceremonial position, in which she'll write numerous poems that represent the area's character as well as be responsible for implementing a community education program that emphasizes poetry and writing.
"I was both delighted and surprised to be selected," said Maldonado. "I love poetry, it's truly my passion at this point."
She joins two other poet laureates in New Mexico --- one in Santa Fe and another in Albuquerque, who is being inducted today. As the only poet laureate from the southwestern part of the state, Maldonado said she hopes to create poetry that can be distinguished from that of her northern counterparts, just like the region.
"The area"s different than northern New Mexico," Maldonado said. "I think the population here is very different. Because of the emphasis on the mines, I think the mining and ranching communities here created cultures unto themselves. Also, there's the close proximity to Mexico."
Maldonado, who used to be a professor and a dean at WNMU before she retired, said her poetry is free verse and tends to follow a narrative, usually one that focuses on those historical themes relevant to the Grant County community, like minorities, ranchers, miners and blue-collar workers. "I think that diversity is part of what makes writing about this area so fascinating," she said.
She attributes her ability to capture the area's spirit to her sense of place --- "of being able to be into where I am, to focus on it, to reflect it," and also her upbringing in Montana, which she said was similar to life in Southwestern New Mexico, particularly in regard to the solitude.
Maldonado's plans as far as the community education program involve workshops maybe through the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning that focus on poetry appreciation and giving people who would like to try poetry, but never have, the opportunity to do so. She said her 30 years of experience in education, including being a professor of education and psychology at WNMU, will come in handy with the workshops, which she hopes will encourage those who don't have poetry experience to give it a try.
"That's a big part of my goal," Maldonado said. "To create venues to invite people who wouldn't normally go to poetry events."
The committee in charge of selecting a poet laureate chose Maldonado out of three final nominees, citing her familiarity with Silver City and her numerous published works as the reason for her selection.
Maldonado has written four books, including "From the Marias River to the North Pole," "Montana, Too," "It's Only Raven Laughing" and "Too Personal for Words," and as been published in various anthologies, most notably in "Montana Women Writers: Geography of the Heart," which won the Willa Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2007.
The poets are Sharon Barr, Larry Godfrey, Maldonado, Tom McCoy, Sandy McKinney and Elise Stuart and the artists featured are Dorothy McCray, Christine Sandifur, Patrick Archer, Elvira Godfrey, Ouida Touchon and Joseph Wade Jr.
By Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, Silver City Poet Laureate

Southwest Festival of the Written Word » Meet Silver City’s First Poet Laureate [cached]

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado is Silver City's first Poet Laureate. She is the award-winning author of four books of poetry and has been anthologized in many more. She was a Willa Finalist by Women Writing the West, in 2010. She is a retired professor and dean from Western New Mexico University. We invite you to read more about Silver City's newest literary arts leader at her web site,

Southwest Festival of the Written Word » “True Grit�–on the Silver City Poet Laureate [cached]

Written by Harry Williamson, this fantastic article about Bonnie Buckley Maldonado is reproduced with permission and first appeared in the June 2012 Desert Exposure.

An avid gardener at her Piños Altos home, Port Laureate Bonnie Maldonado is joined by Murphy, one of three rescue dogs and two cats owned by Bonnie and her husband Librado. (Photo by Harry Williamson)
Bonnie Buckley Maldonado is pure grit and hard-wire. Her spirit and mettle are unyielding, even at age 80.
In her four books of poetry Maldonado writes about places she has known and loved, especially those in northern Montana and southwest New Mexico. She writes about people, especially women, who are a lot like she is. People of extraordinary capacity and character and kindness and strength. Her red hair confirms a raw-boned Irish heritage.
"I'm influenced by the cadences of Irish voices, by Western music, by Indian singers and drummers. That was the music I grew up with," she says.
Raised first in a fine home and then, thanks to a ruthless banker's shenanigans, in a sheepherder's wagon in far north Montana, she felt comfortable living in a tent with her two sons while she cooked for hoards of backcountry tourists when she arrived in Grant County 53 years ago.
In a poem called "Self-Study," Maldonado writes:
"That's where I want to be," Maldonado says. "These are wonderful things to me."
In "Green Hidey-Holes," she likens chasing a new poem to "pursuing a feral cat/with spiky fur/and wily moves."
Kelly says a SFWW selection committee, diversified in age and background, considered several local, published poets before finally deciding on Maldonado.
"Silver City's first poet laureate should exemplify the idea that 'this is what a poet does' - how you live as a poet while trying to juggle a job and family - and Bonnie has clearly done that for a long, long time," Wilson says.
Along with her long teaching experience, Maldonado also has a degree in counseling, with 40 years of community service work in mental health programs. She speaks and writes fluently in Spanish. For all of that, she was also inducted into the New Mexico Woman's Hall of Fame, the only Grant County woman to be honored thus far.
Maldonado says, as poet laureate, she is planning to go to some of the schools, such as Aldo Leopold High School, and ask if they would like her to sit down with some of their classes. She and other area poets and writers will also be reading at area business and other located as part of SFWW's Random Acts of Literature. In addition, Maldonado has committed to compose up to four poems a year, at the request of Silver City Town Council and the Southwest Festival of the Written Word, and to keep a log of her activities and experiences as poet laureate.
"Another part of what I want to do is encourage writers who are afraid to show anyone their work," she says.
I do believe that anyone can actualize their dreams," Maldonado says.
Albuquerque became the third city, naming Hakim Bellamy, a national and regional Slam Poetry Champion, as its first poet laureate a week or so after Maldonado was selected.
Maldonado agrees with another poet laureate - William Wordsworth - who wrote, "Poetry is made up of emotion recollected in tranquility," saying that some of her poems start as rants.
Maldonado says that the woman, Russie Arrows, continued to prospect all over the mountains of Montana and Wyoming as an elder.
Maldonado says that even with all of the rewriting, she does know when a poem is as good as its going to be.
I just thought it was beautiful to look at," Maldonado says.
Maldonado writes poems about her family in those early days in Montana, how they were sheepherders and artists and great storytellers. Her great-great-grandfather was a seanchai (spelled seanchaidhe before the Irish spelling reform of 1948), which means a bearer of "old lore.
Since her arrival in 1959 Maldonado has left Silver City only for brief periods for work and education, such as when she started her doctoral degree at Boston University. After her disastrous first marriage, Maldonado believed she would always remain single, but wed Librado Maldonado seven years after meeting him in a workshop. Also an educator, principal of Cobre High School, Lobrado's family had settled in Grant County in the 1870s.
Bonnie has written about his Apache ancestors, and in one 2003 poem she touches on his ranching background. In the poem "Rancher" she describes seeing an older rancher:
He tips his Stetson in my direction and I see clear gray eyes and worry lines acquired from watching for rain.
Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, Silver City's first poet laureate, reads one of her poems at the Yankie Creek Coffee House in downtown Silver City. (Photo by Harry Williamson)
Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, Silver City's first poet laureate, reads one of her poems at the Yankie Creek Coffee House in downtown Silver City. (Photo by Harry Williamson)
Paraphrasing Robert Frost's comment that, "A poem begins with a lump in the throat," Maldonado adds with a chuckle, "It can also begin with laughter in your throat."
As another activity of her term as Silver City's poet laureate, Maldonado is planning to conduct a four-week class for the Western Institute of Lifelong Learning (WILL), with those attending doing some writing under her expert teaching and guidance.
Our latest post features a Desert Exposure article by Harry Williamson on Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, the first [...]

Southwest Festival of the Written Word » poet laureate [cached]

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado is Silver City's first Poet Laureate. She is the award-winning author of four books of poetry and has been anthologized in many more. She was a Willa Finalist by Women Writing the West, in 2010. She is a retired professor and dean from Western New Mexico University.Read the Rest...

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