Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolved for 2009

Resolutions for poets from One Night Stanzas

Want to make a New Year's Resolution that you can actually keep, and which might also benefit your writing? Check out my suggestions…

You: are fairly new to the whole writing process. 
Resolve to: read, read and then read some more. Read actively, paying attention to voices and styles in other writing. Then write as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

You: have been writing for a while but only as a hobby, and want to take things to the next stage. 
Resolve to: join a writing workshop and start letting other people see your poetry. Take constructive criticism on board and use it to start polishing up your poems.

You: think you might be ready to start publishing in magazines. 
Resolve to: start reading zines and journals and marking out ones that seem right for your poetry. Make sure you feel ready to publish, and then get started!

You: have been published in a couple of places but keep getting rejected. 
Resolve to: get to the bottom of why this might be happening, sort it out, and keep trying! If all else fails, read some more poetry.

You: have been published in loads of magazines and are wondering about the next step. 
Resolve to: seek advice (from me, if no one else!) about what to do next. Make sure you feel ready to move on from magazine publishing, and start working towards something bigger.

You: have a publication that you want to get ‘out there.’ 
Resolve to: send review copies around literary publications, along with a sweet cover letter — and don’t forget to include ONS!

You: are having trouble writing anything much at all! 
Resolve to: read, read, read. Lower your standards and just write — regardless of whether you think it’s amazing or rubbish, just let words tumble out. Experiment with new styles and forms. Find writing prompts to challenge yourself.

You: want to meet more writers like yourself, but don’t know how. 
Resolve to: join a workshop group, or start up your own. Attend poetry readings, and if you feel able to, try performing at them too. Set up a blog and use it to find other writers online.

Or keep it short - make just one Poet’s Resolution for the New Year: Spend your winter evenings putting together & polishing your poetry manuscript, and send it out to a chapbook or book publication competition with a winter or spring deadline

And a short version of my own blogging resolutions - up and out so you can hold me to them.

  1. Blog daily - no matter how short the post.
  2. Try out new features and topics
  3. Learn something completely new about blogging.
  4. Don't get in a design/layout rut: make changes
  5. Encourage comments and two-way conversation.
  6. Respond to all comments.
  7. Visit more poetry blogs and post comments to them.
  8. Be bolder
As for #1: I have two Mountainair blog and two teaching blogs - daily posts on each and every one would not be a realistic resolution. I think I can manage the rest and certainly will try.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Road Less Traveled

The Florence Griswold Museum's "The Road Less Traveled" exhibit links Artist Thomas Nason with Poet Robert Frost

Thomas Nason’s Rural New England, on view at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut from January 17 through April 12, examines the visual poetry of printmaker Thomas W. Nason (1889-1971).


The exhibition draws parallels between the carefully carved, deliberate lines of Nason’s wood engravings and the thoughtfully chosen, measured language of poet laureate Robert Frost, with whom he collaborated. Several of Frost’s and Nason’s rare chapbooks and other limited editions are also on view along with a choice selection of items from Nason’s studio, to help to illuminate the technique and career of one of New England’s most revered printmakers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Obituary - Poet Adrian Mitchell

Inspirational poet, playwright and performer Adrian Mitchell, who died this Dec 20, was a natural pacifist.

Obituary by Michael Kustow, The Guardian, December 21, 2008: 'A beacon hope in darkening times ... ' Adrian Mitchell


The poet and playwright Adrian Mitchell, in whom the legacies of Blake and Brecht coalesce with the zip of Little Richard and the swing of Chuck Berry, has died of heart failure at the age of 76. In his many public performances in this country and around the world, he shifted English poetry from correctness and formality towards inclusiveness and political passion.

Mitchell's original plays and stage adaptations, performed on mainstream national stages and fringe venues, on boats and in nature, add up to a musical, epic and comic form of theatre, a poet's drama worthy of Aristophanes and Lorca. Across the spectrum of his prolific output, through wars, oppressions and deceptive victories, he remained a beacon of hope in darkening times.

He was a natural pacifist, a playful, deeply serious peacemonger and an instinctive democrat. "Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people," he wrote in the preface to his first volume, Poems (1964). For all his strong convictions, he abhorred solemnity. From Red Pepper, a small leftwing magazine, he gleefully accepted a nomination as "shadow Poet Laureate", and demolished royalty, cultural fashions and pretensions in monthly satirical sallies.....

[At] Christ Church, Oxford,... he became editor of the student weekly Isis....wrote poems in the disciplined forms of the Movement, won prizes.... [H]e joined The Oxford Mail in 1955 and then the Evening Standard's "Londoner's Diary," until 1963. Later he became a television critic and wrote about pop music; the Sunday Times fired him for reviewing Peter Watkins' embargoed anti-nuclear film The War Game.

But he had set his sights on becoming a writer and, with a small legacy from his mother, left journalism, and wrote a television play and his first novel If You See Me Comin' (1962), a bluesy, chilling account of an execution in a glum provincial city. Like all of his portrayals of injustice, it is coloured by a barely suppressed sense of terror. Meanwhile he was reading his poems in the burgeoning British movement of performed poetry. I met him in 1962 at one such reading, for Arnold Wesker's Centre 42 arts festivals for working- class audiences. He leapt on stage in a many coloured coat like a Blakean challenger and a rock'n'roll hero. He had fine music-hall timing, and a gravity under all the quickfire jokes and patter.

He began to bring out a steady flow of poetry volumes, from Out Loud (1968) to Tell Me Lies (it will be published next year) -- 15 books of free, syncopated, carnivalesque poems about love, war, children, politicians, pleasure, music. 'He breathed in air/He breathed out light/ Charlie Parker was my delight.'....

"To Whom It May Concern," a riveting poem against bombs and cenotaphs and the Vietnam war, with which he stirred a capacity audience in Mike Horovitz's pioneering Poetry Olympics at the Albert Hall in 1965, has lasted through the too many wars since: a durable counting-rhyme to a rhythm and blues beat.

The 1960s brought two life-changing events for Mitchell. He met the actor Celia Hewitt, working for Tynan on ITV's arts programme Tempo. She was his partner for the last 47 years. He also met Jeremy Brooks, literary manager of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He showed his lyrics to Peter Brook, who was looking for someone to adapt a literal translation of Peter Weiss's play Marat/Sade. Brook jumped, and Adrian worked to the bone to meet a rehearsal deadline and make a glittering, dark text for this 1964 kaleidoscopic play about revolution on the street and in the head.

The encounter with Brook was an upheaval, and Adrian went on to join Brook's team for the collectively authored US (1966), about the Vietnam war, created out of 14 weeks rehearsal and no pre-existing script. His song lyrics, including "Tell Me Lies About Vietnam" already famous in the anti-war movement, sharpened the ironies of the show; his involvement in heated group debates about the direction of the show was critical, gentle and firm. My own favourite as a team member was Barry Bondhus, a talking blues about a father who dumped human excrement into army filing cabinets. It showed a love of Adrian's true America, the land of Whitman, Guthrie and Ginsberg, which marked him out from simplistic anti-Americanism.

From a play about Blake, Tyger, (1971) for Olivier's National Theatre, a time-traveling musical about a visionary 18th-century poet in today's fallen times, with music by long-term collaborator Mike Westbrook, to a version of Pushkin's Boris Godunov for the RSC (due next year) Adrian wrote more than 30 plays, operas, children's plays, classic adaptations. Some were for major companies, many more for the alternative British theatre, from regional playhouses to site-specific groups such as John Fox's Welfare State. The Liverpool Everyman in its heyday staged his Mind Your Head, a phantasmagorical bus journey. His Pied Piper ran at the National for three years, and his The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe became a perennial favourite at the RSC. He made a Beatrix Potter trilogy for the Unicorn Theatre for Children, adapted Spanish classics and Gogol's The Government Inspector for the National, and wrote songs for Peter Hall's version of Orwell's Animal Farm. In 2006, for the Woodcraft Folk Global Peace Village, he staged The Fear Engine in a vast field, a panorama of threatening world politics for a cast of hundreds of young people....

Last week he rang me. He sounded better than during his last three months of illness. "Can I read you this poem?" he asked. He did. It was a celebration. Next night he died. But this poem (below), and the poems and the plays and the politics -- he went to Faslane on the anti-Trident demonstration and got arrested -- will last. He is survived by Celia, two sons, three daughters and nine grandchildren.

Adrian Mitchell, poet, playwright and performer, born 24 October 1932; died 20, December 2008

My Literary Career So Far

As I prowled through Parentheses
I met an Robin and a Owl
My Grammarboots they thrilled like bees
My Vowelhat did gladly growl
Tis my delight each Friedegg Night
To chomp a Verbal Sandwich
Scots Consonants light up my Pants
And marinade my Heart in Language
Alphabet Soup was all my joy!
From Dreadfast up to Winnertime
I swam, a naked Pushkinboy
Up wodka vaterfalls of rhyme
And reached the summit of Blue Howl
To find a shining Suit of Words
And joined an Robin and a Owl
In good Duke Ellington's Band of Birds

Thursday, December 25, 2008

a lyrical Christmas to all

Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales (text) and audio file of DT reading plus an account of how the story came to be recorded.

For the more frivolous and pop culture minded - consider the "Twas Night before Christmas" and its many, many parodies - including a Goth version. Counting song as germane to the genre, "Twelve Days" is equally parody prone - Computer, Teachers, Students (12 Days of Research), even a Foodies 12 Days version and more. I'll spare you Boudreaux's 12 days on da bayou sent by a friend in Delcambre

Dylan Thomas' entry is narrative not verse. Given lyric kinship of song and poetry, carols and hymns are the "canon" (whatever that is). Yet let's not dismiss either carols or popular Christmas poems. Diss them not: they are (along with Mother Goose and Purple Cow) our first exposure to poetry. Even the lofty sonnet began as popular song, possibly sung by women to work by.

Serious (whatever that is) Christmas poetry is thin on the ground. The older it would seem, the better - 17th c puts contemporary to shame. So much for the illusion of progress.

The True Christmas
Henry Vaughan (1678)

So stick up ivy and the bays,
And then restore the heathen ways.
Green will remind you of the spring,
Though this great day denies the thing.
And mortifies the earth and all
But your wild revels, and loose hall.
Could you wear flowers, and roses strow
Blushing upon your breasts’ warm snow,
That very dress your lightness will
Rebuke, and wither at the ill.

The brightness of this day we owe
Not unto music, masque, nor show:
Nor gallant furniture, nor plate;
But to the manger’s mean estate.
His life while here, as well as birth,
Was but a check to pomp and mirth;
And all man’s greatness you may see
Condemned by His humility.

Then leave your open house and noise,
To welcome Him with holy joys,
And the poor shepherd’s watchfulness:
Whom light and hymns from heaven did bless.
What you abound with, cast abroad
To those that want, and ease your load.
Who empties thus, will bring more in;
But riot is both loss and sin.
Dress finely what comes not in sight,
And then you keep your Christmas right.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

January poetry in NM

from Cirrelda Snider-Bryan , thin pipes lit lines 2008 + 2009, via Dale Harris

Sun Jan 4th, 3 pm, Janine Pommy Vega @Acequia Booksellers, 4019 4th St. NW Albuquerque. Poet, Teacher and World Traveller will read from her work. Free. Contact Gary Wilkie 505 890-5365

Sun Jan 4th @ 2 pm Poetry @ Paul's: Celebrate Paul's Birthday Open Mic @ Poetry at Paul's north of Santa Fe in ChupaderoFree. Contact & directions: white@grappawireless.com, 505-988-1082

Sun Jan 4th @ 3 pm First Sunday Reading Series: @ the Dresp Room of the library, 200 E. Picacho Ave in Las Cruces. reception following. Sponsored by Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, the Branigan Library & Friends of the Branigan Library Free. Contact Wayne Crawford, wayne1@zianet.com

Sat Jan 10th @ 6:30 pm Treehouse Open Mic Featuring Karin Bradberry @ the Sumner & Dene Gallery, Upstairs 517 Central Ave NW in Albuquerque 1.5 hour open mic, small break, Featured Poet. Free. Contact: S&D (505) 842-1400 or adam@destructibleheart.com

Mon Jan 12th @ 7 pm Sanjevani Poetry Circle Featuring Mitch Rayes @ Sanjevani Health & Lifestyle Center 7920 Wyoming NE Suite B in Albuquerque
Free. Contact: Bill Nevins bill_nevins@yahoo.com 264 6979

Sun Jan 25th @ 3 pm Duende & Friends: Doris Fields, Jim Fish, John Orne Green, Cirrelda Snider-Bryan @ Anasazi Fields Winery 52 Camino de los Pueblitos in Placitas, 30 minute open mic at the end - sign up starts at 2:30. Free. Contact: cirrelda@laalamedapress.com, http://www.anasazifieldswinery.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Newspaper Blackout Poems

from Carla at the English Teacher blog

In a reverse of the found poem, Austin Kleon writes blackout poems. He is even sponsoring a contest on writing Newspaper Blackout Poems at his blog, Austin Kleon.

The idea is to start with a newspaper article — the one in the contest is a tragic story from August 1908 — and a black marker. Mark out everything except the words that will form a poem. If necessary, connect words with white space.


As long as you or students mark copies and not books, a blackout poem could be a great way to respond to reading both fiction and nonfiction.

Kleon points out, “What you are doing when making a blackout poem, in the words of Allen Ginsberg, is ’shopping for images.’”

  • What words stand out in this piece? (Kleon recommends a focus on nouns and verbs.)
  • What connections do you see between these words and other words or phrases in the piece?
  • What conclusions can you draw/summary can you compose/theme do you see?

Sample blackout poems from Kleon’s site:


  • A blackout poem based on Rachel Carson’s “A Fable for Tomorrow” from Silent Spring
  • A blackout poem based on the prologue to “Romeo and Juliet”
  • A blackout poem based on an author’s biography

Sunday, December 21, 2008

BOOKS: 2 reviews and an essay

Poetry’s Shadow’ - review by Karl Kirchwey of An Aquarium: Poems by Jeffrey Yang. 63 pp. Graywolf Press. Paper, $15

Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World, by Naomi S. Baron. Oxford University Press. Reviewed in Times Higher Education (UK) by Frank Furedi, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent.
Safire on Baron's book in his NYT language column, Dec 19, 2008:

If you have one book to give to a lover of the lingo, latch on to “Always On, Language in an Online and Mobile World,” by Naomi Baron (Oxford, $30)... Baron... tackles a big question of interpersonal communications: What is e-mail, instant messaging, mobile phonology and other forms of Internetese doing to our spoken and written language? ....Will electronically mediated language — with its frantic need for speed in transmission leading to shortcuts in spelling and the elimination of spaces between words ­— influence offline communication? Of course it will. Should educators resist the trend in the name of thoughtfulness and clarity? Sometimes, not always.

My Turkish Library by Orhan Pamuk, Translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely, New York Review of Bookx, Volume 55, Number 20 · December 18, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Solstice Reading in Placitas

click ▲ to view/ print larger version

Here's hoping for a follow up report (maybe even with pictures) .... then you'll be even sorrier you missed it and will try harder to make next years' solstice offering... and other Placitas poetry happenings...

More about Solstice & its origins, pictures of winter solstice at Stonehenge & making a solstice wreath

The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

Now, where do you suppose the first couple of lines of this carol came from?

There is a whole series of medieval English carols on the subject of the rivalry between the holly and the ivy. In many of them, the holly and ivy symbolized male and female, and the songs narrated their often rowdy vying for mastery in the forest or in the house.

And the next time incessant repetitions of "the Carol of the Bells" annoy you, consider this: it's a remnant of the pre-Christian winter solstice carol.

Friday, December 19, 2008

2 for the 20th

Dale Harris writes, "Wanted to let you all know about this lovely event. See link to flyer. There's a map and directions to the church at http://www.lasplacitaschurch.org. Wishing you the happiest of holidays!"

Solstice reading Sat Dec 20th @ 7 pm at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, Hwy 165 - 7 miles east of 1-25 in Placitas. A joint offering of The Partnership for Earth Spirituality and The Earth Care Fellowship, LPPC

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Winter's Promise: A Reading for the Winter Solstice
featuring Michelle Holland, Jim Fish, Gary Brower, Jim Burbank, Renny Golden, Tani Arness, Kimberly Summers, Dale Harris, John Myers, John Tritica, Cirrelda Snider & John Orne Green

On the longest night of the year, an evening of poetry, silence, and music to the light of a single candle. Eleven poets of the Southwest and beyond, each reading one poem. A tradition now for eleven years. Refreshments served afterwards — All are invited. Free.

For more information please contact John Green at 867-0240 or email jogreenalb@aol.com

And from abqslam: Urbane Expo featuring Duke City Youth Poetry Collective THIS SATURDAY

Saturday night Dec 20 at North 4th Arts Center (on 4th street north of Griegos), is the Urbane Expo presented by Warehouse 508. It's a fantastic show featuring music, poetry and visual arts with a featured set by members of the DCYCP and and open-mic for all ages as well!

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In addition to the art showing and prizes for the different categories, there will be poetry, open mic and guitar serenades throughout the evening. Please come and enjoy a sophisticated night of art in ABQ!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Inaugural Poet Chosen

According to Poetry.About.com,
Soon after Election Day we asked “Who should be the inaugural poet for President-elect Obama?” — and you, dear Readers, responded with lots of names and incisive comments. Now, a month later, the program for Inauguration Day is taking shape, it has been decided who is going to read a poem during Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony — and it’s someone whose name never made it onto our list: Elizabeth Alexander, poet, essayist, playwright, Professor of African-American Studies at Yale University, and board member of the Poetry Society of America and Cave Canem.
Elizabeth Alexander's website, selected poems, WaPo article & YouTube: “Ars Poetica #100: I Believe” from American Sublime, read by Elizabeth Alexander

Ars Poetica #100: I Believe

Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry

is where we are ourselves,
(though Sterling Brown said

“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I’”)
digging in the clam flats

for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.

Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,

overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way

to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)

is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.

Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,

and are we not of interest to each other?

Ars Poetica #28: African Leave-Taking Disorder

The talk is good. The two friends linger
at the door. Urban crickets sing with them.

There is no after the supper and talk.
The talk is good. These two friends linger

at the door, half in, half out, ‘til one
decides to walk the other home. And so

they walk, more talk, the new doorstep, the
nightgowned wife who shakes her head and smiles

from the bedroom window as the men talk
in love and the crickets sing along.

The joke would be if the one now home
walked the other one home, where they started,

to keep talking, and so on: “African
Leave-Taking Disorder,” which names her children

everywhere trying to come back together and talk.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Literature-Map - The tourist map of literature

Of course we are also readers. Here's a reader's toy for you. Fun to play with as well as opening new reading doors...

What else do readers of a particular author read? The closer two writers are on the "literature map," the more likely someone will have read / be reading both.

From something called Gnooks, books /music/ movies oriented and a "self-adapting community system" (whatever that is) based on the gnod engine. It proposes to help you discover new writers the system thinks you will like, travel the map. of literature and discuss favorite books and authors in forums. The map is interesting - the rest, combines interesting, presumptuous and creepy

Gnod (in words of developer Marek Gibney, Germany)
is an experiment in the field of artificial intelligence, a self-adapting system, living on this server and 'talking' to everyone who comes along. Gnod's intention is to learn about the outer world and to learn 'understanding' its visitors. This enables gnod to share all its wisdom with you in an intuitive and efficient way. You might call it a search-engine to find things you don't know about.
Hello Hal?

H-New Mexico Book Reviews

Sometimes I forget but the plog is not just about poetry and poets - it's the poets and writers picnic blog (but I'm not going to come up with another name). So here's a writing / (cv-able) online publishing opportunity from Tomas Jaehn, H-NewMexico Editor. If you are interested in writing reviews, you will have to join the H-NewMexico Discussion Network at http://www.h-net.org/~newmex

After having gone through the certification process for Book Review Editors, I am now also H-NewMexico's Book Review Editor. This will allow me to request and post book reviews pertaining to New Mexico on H-Net. The H-Net system for reviews is rather tightly structured and reviews have to go through (me and) the H-Net review software/database system.

I might ask individual list members to consider reviewing a book, exhibit, film, etc. for our list. If some of you are interested in writing reviews for H-NewMexico, please let me know off-line and indicate what subjects/topics/format/etc. you might prefer.

Thanks, and I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving.
Best wishes, Tomas Jaehn, tjaehn@csf.edu
H-NewMexico Editor

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Grace / Gracias

GRACE by Rafael Jesus Gonzalez

Thanks & blessing be
to the Sun & the Earth
for this bread & this wine,
----this fruit, this meat, this salt,
---------------this food;
thanks be & blessing to them
who prepare it, who serve it;
thanks & blessing to them
who share it
-----(& also the absent & the dead.)
Thanks & blessing to them who bring it
--------(may they not want),
to them who plant & tend it,
harvest & gather it
--------(may they not want);
thanks & blessing to them who work
--------& blessing to them who cannot;
may they not want — for their hunger
------sours the wine
----------& robs the salt of its taste.
Thanks be for the sustenance & strength
for our dance & the work of justice, of peace.


Gracias y benditos sean
el Sol y la Tierra
por este pan y este vino,
-----esta fruta, esta carne, esta sal,
----------------este alimento;
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo preparan, lo sirven;
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo comparten
(y también a los ausentes y a los difuntos.)
Gracias y bendiciones a quienes lo traen
--------(que no les falte),
a quienes lo siembran y cultivan,
lo cosechan y lo recogen
-------(que no les falte);
gracias y bendiciones a los que trabajan
-------y bendiciones a los que no puedan;
que no les falte — su hambre
-----hace agrio el vino
-----------y le roba el gusto a la sal.
Gracias por el sustento y la fuerza
para nuestro bailar y nuestra labor
--------por la justicia y la paz.

---------------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

(The Montserrat Review, no. 6, primavera 2003
[nombrado para el Premio de la Poesía por la Paz Hobblestock;
derechos reservados del autor.)

Rafael Jesús González, born in the bicultural/bilingual setting of El Paso, Texas/Juárez, Chihuahua, attended the University of Texas El Paso, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, & the University of Oregon. Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing & Literature, taught at the University of Oregon, Western State College of Colorado, Central Washington State University, the University of Texas El Paso, and Laney College, Oakland where he founded the Mexican and Latin American Studies Dept.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seeking talent for Poetry Jam 09

from Alex Traube at NM Culture Net

Dear Friends & Colleagues-

New Mexico CultureNet will be presenting a cross section of New Mexico's diverse literary talent at Poetry Jam 09, an performance that will take place at Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center, 7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 16, 2009. Poets, student poets, musicians, dancers, multimedia artists and other creative artists will take the stage to entertain, enchant and inspire.

We are planning Poetry Jam 09 now, and I wanted to see if there are individuals or organizations who would be interested in participating in this event. If so, please tell me what you have in mind. Note that all performers at Poetry Jam 09 must directly or indirectly relate to the literary arts. A few examples: songs of poems set to music; a collaboration of a dancer and a poet/rapper, individuals reading poems, group poems, or songs that are so compelling in their lyrics as to be "literary" (think James Taylor, Terry Allen, Joni Mitchell).

New Mexico CultureNet is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997. We maintain two large web portals, but our primary focus is to foster literacy through active student participation in poetic expression, provide mentoring for young writers, support classroom teachers, contribute to K-16 educational continuity, and encourage tolerance of others. Poetry Jam 09 will provide a showcase for the creative talent, young and not-so-young, in our community and region. We hope that you will join us, either as a participant or audience member, on Thursday, April 16, at 7:00 p.m. at the Lensic.

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving. I hope to hear from some of you.

Alex Traube, Executive Director, New Mexico CultureNet, Founded in 1997
505-474-8500 (Voice/Fax)
505-660-2026 (Cellular)
913 Placita Chaco, Santa Fe 87505-6253

CultureNet promotes the understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures of New Mexico by connecting people, ideas and resources

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WWI Poetry, Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), from An Introduction to WWI Poetry


He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day, (5)
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light blue trees,
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim, –
In the old times, before he threw away his knees. (10)
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands.
All of them touch him like some queer disease.

There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year. (15)
Now, he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh. (20)

One time he liked a blood- smear down his leg,
After the matches, carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. – He wonders why.
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts, (25)
That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie: aged nineteen years.

Germans he scarcely thought of; all their guilt, (30)
And Austria's, did not move him. And no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits. (35)
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then enquired about his soul.

Now, he will spend a few sick years in institutes, (40)
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
Tonight he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come (45)
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?

CPF, Vol. I, pp. 175-6

Mental Cases

Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls' teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain, - but what slow panic, (5)
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands' palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?

– These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished. (10)
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them, (15)
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable, and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men's extrication.

Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented
Back into their brains, because on their sense (20)
Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black;
Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
– Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous,
Awful falseness of set-smiling corpses.
– Thus their hands are plucking at each other; (25)
Picking at the rope-knouts of their scourging;
Snatching after us who smote them, brother,
Pawing us who dealt them war and madness

CPF, Vol. I, p. 169

The Paths of Glory

For Veterans' Day, what better choice than Paths of Glory (1957)? This moive was the first of Kubrick's anti-war trilogy completed by Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Love the Bomb (1964) and Full Metal Jacket (1987).

Rent it in tandem with All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). Kubrick's early but yet to be improved on movie came from a book and then play (both far and away eclipsed by the movie) the title of which comes from the ninth stanza of Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard."

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Deferrals do come due

Yes, of course we all know this one - but doesn't it seem especially apropos today? Its affect (yes dammit, affect) is universal. We all dream. One of the most powerful reactions I've ever seen was teaching English intro to lit in south Louisiana. I assigned a few poems for that most despised of units, but told my class to pick their own. An out of work oilfield worker whose family responsibilities had kept him out of college twenty five years earlier picked "A Dream Deferred." His voice cracked reading the poem and again explaining why it touched him so deeply.

Two from Langston Hughes

Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Let America Be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November and December Poetry Events

Saturday, November 8th
Madi Sato, 5:30 PM Potluck, outdoor fire weather permitting, open mic.

Presenting local award-winning singer, songwriter, poet and sound healer Madi Sato. She will be sharing her poetry, as well as, the ancient poetry of Japan. For the past 5 years Madi went from being a touring musician sharing her poetry through her music, live and recorded to going back to her roots of Japan studying and performing ancient and traditional music of Japan. This journey has lead her to the practice of incorporating sound healing into her music and writing. Spend an intimate evening with Madi Sato as she takes you from her personal experiences to the transpersonal expressions of the poetry within ancient Japanese chanting, known as Shigin, as well as, chants from around the world.


NM Youth Unite: Poetry Showcase 2008, featuring youth poets from Santa Fe Indian School, Hands Across Cultures, Warehouse 21 and others.

At Warehouse 21, 1614 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe NM. Friday, November 7th at 7PM. Free admission. Contact: Chris Jonas, chrisjonas@warehouse21.org, 505-670-4364.
Warehouse 21, Ironweed Productions, and SFIS Spoken Word (Santa Fe Indian School Spoken Word) present a powerful night of live performance featuring top youth poets from across northern New Mexico on Friday, November 7 at W21, 7pm. Poets from Santa Fe , Espanola, Taos and Albuquerque will participate in this two hour event which promises to unify the New Mexico youth community through the electrifying art of performance poetry. Performers interested in participating in the showcase should contact Tim McLaughlin at timgrandpa@hotmail.com or Nolan Eskeets at black_eagle15039@yahoo.com.
Images available upon request.


December 6th

Poet Gary Brower, flamenco guitarist El Niño David & flamenco dancer Susana Calzada Garrett will perform at Poetry at Paul's on Dec. 6, in an integrated performance of poetry, music and dance, which will focus on Spanish poets Federico Garcia Lorca, Miguel Hernandez, Antonio Machado and Angel Gonzalez.

Gary Brower, who has taught at various universities including UNM, is a director of the Duende Poetry Series of Placitas, NM, where he lives. He has issued books of poetry the last two years, and a CD this year. He has also published his poetry in many literary publications.

David, Susana and Gary have performed together on the CD "A Tribute to Federico Garcia Lorca" (Vox Audio, 2007), and at venues such as the Duende Poetry Series in Placitas, the Church of Beethoven and the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Poetry International poem of the week

from 'THE DOGS', no. 8

Words like coffee, sun and car
don't wear as easily in use
as beauty, restlessness and sleep.

Under the influence of coffee and sleep
in the presence of thoughts washed ashore from the night
the city attains the necessary depth.

Just by looking through the window
without giving heed to the sun, to the gleam
that marks the car owner's face

I can see the gravity and tragedy
of every trip to the newsagent's, to the baker's
of the shaking of hands

a farewell that sends one person into an office block
and the other walking off to one side
which makes this morning worse

worse as in further away from what I've written
further as in finished speaking
and in need of the first glass of wine.

© 2007, Jan Baeke, © Translation: 2008, Willem Groenewegen

Poem of the Week: Poetry International, Netherlands, Jan Baeke page

Friday, October 17, 2008

Found Poetry on the Campaign Trail

From About.poetry.com, pieces of found poetry from the public statements of politicians.... a series of short poems formed from Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's recent interviews...

Poetry vs. Prose in the Presidential Campaign?
This February posting has a poll asking "Would you vote for a poet for President?" Stop in and vote!

Sorry but the deadline has passed for Haiku Hysteria (best will be published in The Nation). While waiting for results, there's the R.S.S.S.H.G.
generator (The Random Stump Speech Synopsis Haiku Generator) generator and wordplay absurdities

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lunarosity: Call for Submissions

Lunarosity, an online journal of poetry and short fiction, is seeking submissions for winter issues, Check out the link below for guidelines. All published authors are archived as well. Poets are listed alphabetically.

October 08 issue: Poetry by Carla Criscuolo, Charles Frederickson, Kelly Kelsey, Thomas Michael McCade, Sergio Ortiz, Udell Player, A Ran, Sam Silva, and Gerry Stork.

SIN FRONTERAS: Writers Without Borders: Click for upcoming events

Monday, October 13, 2008

poetry for Hispanic Culture Month

The art of poetry was the highest art form in Anahuac. Poetry was not just spoken, it was sung. The idea was that "art made things divine", and only the divine was true.

Chicano poetry from Xispas - Journal of Chicano culture, art and politics

Chicano Poetry and the Bilingual Pun, from Javier Huerta's Unitedstatesean Notes blog

Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca
Por Jose Marti

Cultivo una rosa blanca
En julio como en enero,
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca.

Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo,
Cardo ni ortiga cultivo,
Cultivo una rosa blanca.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 15, MAS Poetry Slam

The October edition MASPoetry slam and open-mic of 2008 takes place WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15 at Winning Coffee Co., 111 Harvard SE.

We'll have the regular poetry slam and open-mic with a fabulous prizes (no really!) hosted by Kenn Rodriguez. Sign-up starts at 6:30 p.m. and we are starting promptly at 7! So get there early!


MASPoetry slam and open mic
This Wednesday, Oct. 15, 7 pm (sign-up 6:30 pm)
Winning Coffee Co., 111 Harvard SE (across from UNM)
Donation at the door.

Be there

Oral Traditions Journal Online, Issue 23.1

The Center for Studies in Oral Tradition is pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of our journal Oral Tradition, free of charge and available to all at http://journal.oraltradition.org

The articles in issue 23.1 encompass a wide range of subjects, including Albanian oral law, Gypsy balladry, Welsh saints' lives, French and Japanese epic, and oral tradition in Bali. In addition to the current number, the Oral Tradition website houses the entire journal archive, with 23 years of back issues fully searchable and accessible as downloadable pdf files.

In return, may we ask you to forward this announcement to at least five colleagues? Thank you for whatever you can do to help inform our community and share a resource that was created for the common good.

Oral Traditions welcomes comments and submissions for publication.

John Foley, Editor, Oral Tradition
Center for Studies in Oral Tradition
243 Walter Williams Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-2370

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mary McGinnis Poetry Reading Group, Sunday Oct. 12

Group Poetry Reading: Mary McGinnis' poetry writing group reads at Johnsons of Madrid, October 12, 2008,Sunday, in their performance gallery. Reception and Reading: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Poets who will be reading include: Mary McGinnis, Jane Lipman, Kathamann, Lynn Holm, and Richard Wolfson.

Contact Person: Mary McGinnis: Work phone number 471-1001, ext, 124. Home phone number 982-1026. Email address: mmcginnis@newvistas.org

Since the mid l990's Mary McGinnis has hosted poetry writing at her residence. "People come and go; there are multiple writing permutations over 15 years. Published writers and blossoming writers come and have a good time together after a full meal and chocolate." The reading at Johnsons of Madrid is the first time the group has read their works publicly. Each writer will read their own free verse with occasional classical poetic forms.

Works of independent origins as well as works created while in the group will be read, along with group shenanigans including group poems, an exquisite corpse, pantoums, haikus and psychic resonance.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Poetry at Paul's, Saturday Oct. 11


Poetics and Music

Dale Harris, Ingrid Burg, Miriam Sagan

Come & enjoy their lyric, mythic,
often comedic, sometimes prophetic offerings!


in beautiful
Chupadero, New Mexico
outside of Santa Fe, just north of Tesuque
(see detailed directions below)
Potluck, open mic, featured readers
Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008
4:30 pm to 'when the cows come home!'
Potluck at 4:30, Open mic at 5:30,

Performances at 6:30 pm


master flute maker and musician whose life work is the creation of bamboo flutes. Ingrid personally chooses the bamboo for every flute she creates, tuning and embellishing each one with skill and care. She teaches the ancient art of bamboo flute making to her son Avi Burg and a fortunate few apprentices. Ingrid sells her Flutes For The Journey at craft shows and sound healing conferences throughout the United States and Europe. "I love to find the right flutes for my clients and the best tone for each audience." Ingrid performs at a variety of venues and is part of the Arts in Medicine Program at the University of New Mexico, where she plays for emotionally disturbed children, adolescents, and medically fragile adults. For more information about her flutes and recordings, visit her website http://flutesforthejourney.com

Colorado native and longtime resident of Miami, Florida who has made her home in Central New Mexico since 1993. She organizes the annual Sunflower Festival Poets & Writers Picnic and Sunflower Poetry Workshop at the historic Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair, NM. Former editor of CENTRAL AVENUE monthly poetry journal and open mic reading series, she produced annual poetry variety shows at the Harwood Art Center in support of National Poetry Month from 2002 to 2007. She enjoys performing at regional arts festivals in New Mexico and Colorado. Dale's poems are anthologized in the newly released LOOKING BACK TO PLACE (Old School Press). Her poetry & music CD's are available on the internet at CD Baby and a number of digital distribution sites.
author of twenty books, including the recent MAP OF THE LOST (University of New Mexico Press) and a book of essays, GOSSIP, (Tres Chicas Books). She founded and directs the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College. She has been an artist in residence at Everglades National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and The Land/An Art Site in Mountainair, New Mexico. She edits the e-zine Santa Fe Poetry Broadside (sfpoetry.org) which has published hundreds of poems from New Mexico and beyond. She lives with her husband Rich in Santa Fe.

Directions to Paul's from Santa Fe

Fastest/Easiest route from Santa Fe:
Head north on Highway 285 (St. Francis drive turns into route 285 after last stop light in Santa Fe). Aproximately 8 miles north of the last stop light in Santa Fe take the #172 exit which says "Tesuque South CR73" (don't take the first Tesuque exit #169 which says "Tesuque North CR73", this takes you past the Tesuque Village Market, those directions below) -the exit immediately before #172 is the Flea Market Road exit. Take extremely sharp right at bottom of ramp, go 3/10 mile then left on Route 592
**Follow twists and turns on route 592 for four and one half miles (note; at 3 1/2 miles there is a stop sign, do not go straight on the dirt road at this juncture, 592 continues to left). When you have gone 4 1/2 miles (4.5 miles) on Route 592, you'll have the choice of going straight to Rio en Medio or left to Chupadero, turn left at the street sign "Camino Chupadero" (also known as County Road 78), go nine tenths mile (0.9 mile), there is an old plank wood fence on left (not a coyote fence), then four white mailboxes at end of fence marked 92ABC (note; there is a big metal electric pole on right side of road across from driveway, new plank wood fence on left is too far, dead end is way too far) slow down, the driveway is hidden. Go left immediately after the mailboxes down paved driveway, take a sharp right at bottom to dirt driveway.
Arrival via Tesuque Village Market:
Take the first Tesuque exit #169 which says "Tesuque North CR73", this takes you past the Tesuque Village Market. Go about 2.5 miles (halfway is the Tesuque Village Market, go straight past it). Turn right on route 592.

(see ** above for further directions)

For the more scenic (longer) drive:
This is a beautiful drive but definitely takes longer. Don't take the freeway at all. Head north on Bishops Lodge road out of Santa Fe (starts at the big pink Scottish Rite Temple, quickly passes Fort Marcy and Bishop's Lodge and eventually converges with 73 North. Bear right/north onto Route 73 (at El Nido Restaurant) after you pass the back of the Tesuque Village Market - on your left). urn right on route 592. (see ** above for further directions)

Phone for Paul: 505-988-1082

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ABQ City Slam Championship

Damien Flores edged out Hakim Bellamy in a one-poem tiebreaker in the final round of Saturday's City Championship after battling it out with Jasmine "Jazz" Cuffee, Tracey Pontani and Jessica Lopez in the final two rounds. Jessica actually pulled a higher score than Damien and Hakim in the final round but a half-point time penalty pushed her to third place. For those who missed it - a great night of poetry at the Bank of America Theater at the Nat. Hispanic Cultural Center. The 11 poets competing did a great job.

The next regularly scheduled slam is POETRY & BEER, TODAY, Wednesday, Oct. 1 at Blackbird Buvette in Downtown ABQ. The featured act is spoken word band THE AARON TRUMM TRIO. Sign-up starts at 7:30 pm and the show starts at 8 pm with the open-mic.

Saturday, Dec. 6, is the ABQWOW (Women of the World) Poetry Slam at the Outpost Performance Space. The top woman of the night reps ABQ at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit in 2009.

from NM Slam post by kEnn rodriguez, Slammaster, ABQSlams.org
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