U.S. Poets in Mexico

U.S. Poets in Mexico was founded in 2008 by artist and poet Sheila Lanham. USPiM is evolving!  Going forward we will sponsor Residencies for poets and collaborative projects between U.S. and Mexican poets in Mexico. Our projects will expand, so stay tuned!

Since 2009, the USPiM Poetry Workshops week has attracted poets who are creative writing professors at colleges across America, published poets, MFA Creative Writing graduates or candidates, undergraduate poets, and poets wishing to brush up on skills or connect with their peers.  We have invited a few regional poets to join us in order to integrate our event with local poetry communities. USPiM has also sponsors free public readings by our faculty, guests, and contemporary Mexican poets. USPiM has offered excursions to archaeological sites, ecological sites and other cultural venues in Mexico - going beyond the classroom - so that poets established a sense of place and became familiar with Mexican culture. 

We are fortunate to share a love of poetry with Mexico!


sheila lanham-  Founder and Director

Sheila is a painter and a poet. She is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently, Smoke Shadows (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and a chapbook, Baltimore: Blues and Greens. She is included in A Gathering of Voices: An Anthology of Baltimore Poets (Dolphin Moon Press). She was co-editor for several years of The Pearl: A Baltimore Literary Journal.  Sheila grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She visited Zihuatanejo, Mexico in 1978 with artist Larry Rivers, the first of many visits to Mexico in the following years.  She founded U.S. Poets in Mexico in 2008. Her goal with USPiM was multifaceted: To give poets an opportunity to create new work in Mexico; to introduce Mexican and American poets; provide translation opportunities, emphasize Mexico's exciting literary culture; and explore regional Mexican cultures, indigenous peoples, and share those experiences with others.  An interview at The Merida Review

Previous Conferences

Merida 2018, JanuaryUSPiM Resident: Hoa Nguyen  Poeta Mexicana: Daniela Camacho

Oaxaca 2016, January:   Major Jackson, Eileen Myles, Charles Alexander, Mark Statman, Susan Briante, Pedro Serrano   Poetas Mexicanos:  Tedi Lopez Mills (CDMN),  Pedro Serrano (CDMX), Efrain Velasco Sosa (Oaxaca), Victor Teran (Zapotec language, Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca)  Fellowship Award: Devreaux BakerMexico Awards: Haydee Ramos Cadena, Yendi Ramos, Clyo Mendoza Hererra, (Oaxaca) & Ana Teran, Ana Franco, Helena Moguel, Ximena Rojo de la Vega (CDMX)

Oaxaca 2014Andrei Codrescu, Ron Silliman, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Anselm Berrigan, Catherine Wagner, Translation: Clare Sullivan  Poetas Mexicanas:  Maria Baranda (Mexico City), Natalia Toledo (Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca; Mexico City), Rocío González (Oaxaca/Mexico City), Guadalupe Ángela (Oaxaca), Fellowship Award: Leah Silvieus;  Mexico Awards: Oscar Tanat (Oaxaca)

Mérida 2013Tom Sleigh, Ron Silliman, Nicole Cooley, Lynn Emanuel, Mark Weiss, Translation: Suzanne Jill Levine   Poetas Mexicanos: Mario Bojórquez (Puebla), Álvaro Solís (Puebla), Rubén Márquez Máximo (Puebla), Ambar Past (San Cristobal de las Casas) and Maruch Mendes Peres (Chiapas, Tsotzil Mayan language), Gabriel Magana Merlo (Guadalajara), Fellowship Award: Emilia Phillips  Mexico Award: Fernando de la Cruz

Tulum 2011Diane Wakoski, Jerome Rothenberg, Paul Hoover, Mark Weiss, Translation: Jen Hofer  Poetas Mexicanos: Luis Cortés Bargalló (Mexico City), Rocío Cerón (Mexico City), Carla Faesler (Mexico City) , Feliciano Sánchez Chan (Mérida, Mayan language), Jonathan Harrington (Mérida)  Fellowship Award: Mary Kasimor, MFA Translation Award: Alice Jennings;  Mexico Awards: Victor Vivas, Chany Castro Polanco (Cozumel) and Ana Mar Morena Perez (Playa del Carmen), Addy Garcia Guerrero (PdC), Berenice Moreno (PdC), Rosa María Adame Aspinwall (PdC)

Mérida 2010:  Mark Doty, Anne Waldman, Martin Espada, Translation: Pedro Serrano   Poetas MexicanosPura López-Colomé (Mexico City), José Vicente Anaya (Mexico City),  Pedro Serrano (Mexico City), Bricieda Cuevas Cob (Campeche, Mayan language), Fellowship Award: Jennifer Perrine, Mexico Awards: Omar Gongora Guzman, Fernando de la Cruz, Melissa Larios Luna, Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet (Mérida)

Mérida 2009C. D. Wright, Forrest Gander, Bob Holman, Jack Collom, Translation: Mónica de la Torre   Poetas Mexicanas: Coral Bracho (Mexico City), Mónica de la Torre (NYC), Valerie Mejer (San Miguel de Allende), Bricieda Cuevas Cob (Campeche, Mayan language), Mexico Awards: Fernando de la Cruz, Christian Nunez Tello, David Ele Loria Araujo, Melisa Grisel Bermudez (Mérida)

***Thanks go out those who have helped USPiM provide our workshops over the years: Fernando de la Cruz (Merida), Zureya Esma (Merida), Jonathan Harrington (Merida), Marc Nasdor (NYC), Laurie Price (Oaxaca), Nandi Comer (Detroit), and thanks to all of our wonderful venues in Mexico!

Photo:  USPiM Mérida, January 2009 Conference: Briceida Cuevas Cob, a Mayan language poet from Campeche, receives a hug from USPiM faculty member, poet Bob Holman, who founded the Endangered Language Alliance with linguists Daniel Kaufman and Juliette Blevins the following year.