Northern New Mexico has found a voice to articulate four centuries of pain and pride in the form of a 26-year-old poet named Olivia Romo.
By day, Romo is a constituent liaison for Santa Fe County Commissioner Ed Moreno in District 5. Nights and weekends, you might find her reciting one of her epic poems at the annual Congreso de las Acequias in Taos, a watch party for a local hero’s national TV appearance at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino or even the National Cowboy Poetry Festival in Elko, Nevada.
Romo is well acquainted with the folkways and byways of the Land of Enchantment. In her previous job doing outreach for the New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA), she traveled the state advising acequia leaders on water rights and transfers, updating bylaws and other matters.
The protests of Gabriel Estada of the Rio Gallinas-Roundhouse Ditch scrawled on a piece of notebook paper inspired Romo to write a poem called “Fighting the Tragedy of the Commons” and create a mixed media art piece that was part of an exhibition called “Without Borders” last year at the Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo, Colorado.