|2021||Poet Laureate of Houston, TX|
In 2021, Leslie Contreras Schwartz was awarded the Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellowship to create a workbook on mindfulness and writing, with poetry exercises centered around writing for mental wellness and healing. The book’s content will promote the practice of mindfulness skills through self-guided writing exercises, with the goal of helping participants deal with difficult experiences, trauma, or managing emotional and mental health challenges in daily life. The book will serve as a resource for the general public, young people, and students, as well as for teachers and community outreach leaders leading writing workshops. Contreras Schwartz will also commission a public exhibit of communal poems created from lines and fragments of poems collected from the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, documenting the experiences of the city’s residents during the pandemic.