Who is Bonnie?

Bonnie was born into the ranching lives of pioneer grandparents and Irish storytellers in Northern Montana.

Married as a teen, she completed two college degrees as a single mother, working as a waitress, a ranch cook, and chauffeur. Two more degrees were completed along the way.

She spent most of her adult life balancing college teaching, administration, and community service with a family to care for, her love of writing and nature to sustain her.

For ten years she taught middle school children to enjoy reading and writing.

For over thirty years, she taught college students to seek self-understanding through sharing their stories and confronting their issues.

She honors the numinous in all things natural ranging from the top of Cook's Peak to wild storms charging down the slopes of the Rocky Mountain Front.

Bonnie in Cosmos

Cultural and ethnic diversity have influenced her life from Blackfeet playmates, Guamanian neighbors and students to connections with New Mexico Hispanics. Her marriage to Librado Maldonado brought her into the circle of an old Indo-Hispano family.

Her life is one long poem recorded on scraps of paper until her retirement at age sixty-nine when she finally had time to create manuscripts.

She was inducted into the New Mexico Women's Hall of Fame for extensive work in the area of community service.

She was selected as the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Silver City/Grant County New Mexico.

Bonnie is the only Southwestern poet to be included in the collection which celebrates both the past and future of The Land of Enchantment.

Write to Bonnie via email or
23 Oxbow Dr., Silver City, NM 88061


Bonnie Buckley Maldonado
Inaugural Poet Laureate

Bonnie continues to write, to garden, to read, to travel and to enjoy her family and friends. She is working on another book of Southwestern poems. She is continuing to write and research on the subject of maintaining a keen sense of humor in the process of aging. She says that keeping a peaceful heart, and an active lifestyle are her current goals.

In April, 2012, Bonnie Buckley Maldonado was selected as the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Silver City/Grant County New Mexico. The selection committee for the Poet Laureate Program selected her for this honorary position for many reasons, among them her strong connections to the community, her tremendous skills as a poet and a teacher, and for her publication history and the literary awards she has received. She has been appointed for a two-year term during which she will conduct workshops, write commemorative poems about Silver City and and enhance the appreciation and presence of poetry.

Click to read more about it...

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, Silver City’s first port laureate, reads one of her poems at the
Yankie Creek Coffee House in downtown Silver City. (Photo by Harry Williamson)

The Poet Laureate program was established in 2011 by the Southwest Festival of the Written Word. It has been approved and endorsed by the Silver City Town Council. This is an honorary two-year position awarded to a poet who has established a presence in the world of poetry, has demonstrated a commitment to and passion for poetry, and embraces the opportunity to engage in civic discourse. The program is designed to enhance the presence of the literary arts in the Silver City area and to create a focal point for the expression of the region's culture through the literary arts. The inaugural Poet Laureate will generate a body of work that commemorates the life of the town and its region, its special qualities, and the spirit of its people. Hers is a ceremonial position that also includes developing an educational program to expand the understanding and appreciation of poetry.

Bonnie lives in the mountains near Silver City, New Mexico with her husband, Librado
and a bevy of rescue animals.