About Beate

Poet laureate of Silver City, New Mexico from May 2017 – April 2019, I grew up in Nürnberg, Germany, not far from the castle, reading fairy tales and playing in World War II ruins. In fact, in a corner of a covered walkway at the castle, I rewrote my first fairy tale at age 7. The original fairy tale was “Jorinde and Joringel” from the Brothers Grimm collection. In 2019, that walkway corner still looks much like it did in 1959:

Photo by Harald Rausch

After graduating from a Lutheran girls’ high school in Germany, I studied at Georgetown University’s College of Arts and Sciences, which had until shortly before been a Catholic men’s college. Contrasts, if not contradictions, are part of the theme of my life. 

Photo by Cheryl Thornburg

I have published short stories and poetry, several books of poems and novels, and some other not easily categorized books. My latest publications can be found here: The Latest. I won my first poetry prize in 1983 and my latest two poetry prizes in 2017, with a handful of other prizes in between. In 2017 I was named poet laureate of Silver City, a position I shared with co-poet laureate Jack Crocker. As part of my poet laureate activities, I initiated a local reading series, “Just Words,” with featured readers and open mic. I passed this on to two new facilitators, Francesca West and Eve West Bessier.

My keen interest in women’s writing has led me to my blog Writing In A Woman’s Voice where I post poetry and prose written by women or by men who convincingly write in a woman’s voice. On the full moon, and occasionally additionally on the day following the full moon when funds permit, I give a small prize to a poem or story posted there during the preceding moon cycle.

Currently I am an enchanted resident of Silver City, New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.

I am in love with life and would choose samsara over nirvana any day. Even if we are indeed all illusions, then let’s make this the best and most beautiful and compassionate illusion possible.