Aurora City Council gave unanimous approval to Ahja Fox to become the city’s third Honorary Poet Laureate; she was sworn in Monday, Aug. 8. Fox will serve as Aurora Poet Laureate for a four-year term through August 2026. Duties include raising awareness of the power of poetry and the spoken word, helping Aurora residents share their own poetry and stories , celebrating the diversity of Aurora in community outreach programs and commemorating city and national events in poetic format.
Aurora’s Honorary Poet Laureate program started in 2013 as an Aurora Public Library initiative to recognize the importance of literature as a vital part of the city’s shared and diverse culture. Since then, the city of Aurora has appointed two local artists: Jovan Mays (2013-2017) and Assetou Xango (2017-2020).
After a pause during the pandemic, a new application process started in January to select the city’s third poet laureate. Mays, Xango and Colorado’s Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre served as judges alongside Council Member Danielle Jurinsky, Library Board Member Paula Vargas and Director of Library and Cultural Services Midori Clark. Six applicants went through the process, which included a written application, in-person interviews and a performance of their work. The judging panel selected Fox to represent the city as Honorary Poet Laureate and the selection was confirmed by the Aurora Public Library Board before going to City Council for final approval and appointment in July.
“We are happy to resume the Poet Laureate Program, especially with the selection and appointment of Ahja Fox,” said Clark. “Ahja brings a unique combination of an extensive background in poetry and education. With her emphasis in making poetry available to everyone, I am confident she will be a great champion for literature and literacy.”
Aurora native Ahja Fox graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Creative Writing and a minor in Psychology. Her work has been published in various online and print journals, including Five:2:One, LEVELER, Wrongdoing Magazine, Okay Donkey, SWWIM and Driftwood Press. She also participates in various events across Colorado and co-hosts Art of Storytelling. Past related experience includes managing editor for Homology Lit, assistant poetry editor for Copper Nickel and editor, professor and academic director for Poetix University.
Watch Ah yeah Fox performs her poem “In Other Worlds” on AuroraTV.org.