Sunday, August 31, 2008

Poem Cube

A learning tool designed by Jason Nelson and programmer Rory Hering, the Poem Cube allows users/poets to compose and also view previouly saved 16 line poems, with lines automatically placed within the multi-layered sections. Use the buttons to move in and out, recombining the poems by turning the Cube upwards, downwards and inwards. Built to act as a bridge between the print and digital worlds.

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Jason Nelson: Net Art/Digital Poetics/Art Games and Oddities

Saturday, August 30, 2008

CNM: Slam and Faculty Advisor

I've been following recent NM & Albq slam lists' discussions, including the one about the firing of Bill Nevins, Faculty Advisor of the CNM Slam Poetry Team/Write Club.

Wed, 8/27/08, Bill Nevins
wrote (forwarded to lists by Sal Treppedi):
Just so you know, and seems to me that the poetry community would want to know, so feel free to tell them. The founding Faculty Advisor of the CNM Slam Poetry Team/Write Club, Bill Nevins, who is also instructor of the CNM Creative Writing Poetry and College Writing and Analytical Writing courses has suddenly and without explanation or any warning been fired, effective immediately and meaning that the above courses prepared by that instructor and advertised in his name by CNM will be taught by someone else, if at all. The future of the CNM Slam is in doubt, as now there is no faculty advisor it is reported that no one else is willing to take the job for fear of similar firing by CNM. It appears that CNM does not want an active student creative voice nor active voices among its faculty.

The CNM faculty union has expressed shock at this "mean-spirited" action and has asked for the immediate reversal of this action, but so far no response from the CNM Admin. The action was taken via a one sentence letter to Nevins mailed Aug 18 and signed by Irving Berkowitz, Dean of CHSS (School of Communication, Humanities, and Social Sciences) at CNM. Incidentally, Dean Berkowitz publicly announced his own resignation and plans to leave the State of NM in an email sent Aug 14 to all faculty.

Deja vu all over again, or retaliation for Committing Poetry in times of .... ?
(reference to well known story about free speech, poetry and war that took place at Rio Rancho High School. A post by Bill Nevins that describes what happened and how he lost his teaching job at Rio Rancho High School over free speech issues around the time of the start of the Iraq war.)
Blogging the newly created Albq Slam Championship was my first choice - especially untl I read that Hakim Bellamy, PWP featured reader, topped the list of qualifiers. But Hakim responded to CNM story by posting this on NM Slam, Fri Aug 29
How YOU can help Bill Nevins.

The teachers organization (dare I say union) at CNM has filed a request to the President of CNM to overturn Bill's firing on the grounds that the outgoing administrator had no reasonable cause to initiate such a targeted action. It would do President Winograd well to hear from the community (as CNM is a community serving institution) and especially from CNM students, faculty or staff (because your money keeps the lights on).

KATHARINE WINOGRAD, President’s Office, can be reached by telephone
(505)224-4415, by email at, or by snail mail at President’s Office, 525 Buena Vista Dr. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Thank You,
I figured Hakim would rather this take precedent over the other, so here it is. Time to catch the other later. Check those addresses and write CNM.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Submission Calendar for grants and awards

Poets & Writers Magazine: grants and awards submission rcalendar, September-December 2008, 40 count 'em 40.

NFSPS poetry contests for 2009 & 2008 winners (NFSPS = National Federation of State Poetry Societies).

The current issue of the About Poetry newsletter features two bookend, articles on the topic, one cautionary and the other encouraging
Perhaps the subtext is enter but practice safe submission. Apply common sense. An earlier, related article: A Word to the Wise: On Entering Your Poems in Competition

Columnist Dave Barry spoofing a scam competition and The Freemont Poetry Project
On July 13, 2003, Dave Barry invited readers of his blog to submit poems to Poetry.Com, using the first name of "Freemont," and incorporating the line "The dog ate mother's toes." By the end of the week, hundreds of such poems had been posted to the site.
Needless to say, all this - positive and negative - is undiscovered country for me. The plus: fresh perspective, no agendas, biases, or grindable axes. The negative: I bring no experience to the table. From a horse show / academic conference perspective, probably not as different from them as one might imagine. Still, I can use all the collaboration I can persuade you, chers lecteurs, to offer.

So if you have competitions to recommend or review, reflections or impressions, please use the comment form to share them. Plans are afoot for the NM State Poetry Society to put a comprehensive event calendar online. Until then, I'll try to post what comes my way but not that I'll hunt it down like a dog.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Call for submissions: ginosko, 5th issue

Accepting short fiction & poetry for the 5th issue of the literary journal ginosko.

Editorial lead time 1-3 months; accept simultaneous submissions and reprints; receives email & postal submissions. Length flexible. Copyright reverts to author.

Publishing as semiannual ezine--summer & winter. Moving towards printed version to be distributed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Selecting material for anthology.

Downloadable issues on website:

ezine circulation 2200+.

Also looking for artwork, photography, CDs to post on website and links to exchange.

ginosko (ghin-oce-koe)

To perceive, understand, realize, come to know; knowledge that has an inception, a progress, an attainment. The recognition of truth by experience.

PO Box 246
Fairfax CA 94978

Great workshop and picnic. We are still in recovery mode, but report, hopefully with images, coming soon. In the meantime, think about what you think would be interesting for plog to pursue until until picnic / workshop time next year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Saturday Reader Schedule

Where? In the Shaffer Garden, at the Gazebo

When? From 12n-5pm - SCHEDULE below. Contents may shift (and may shift again). Time can be a trickster - lots can happen so we'll try to be flexible.

(links take you to posts introducing readers and musicians)
12:00n-12:30 Welcome by Dale Harris & Open Mic
Sunflower Poetry Workshop poets
12:45-1:00 Maria Leyba, featured poet
1:00 - 1:15 Lou Liberty, featured poet
1:15 - 1:30 Merimee Moffitt, featured poet
1:30 - 2:00

Santa Fe Moonday Writers Group, featured poets: Rachelle Woods, Elizabeth Raby, Debby Brody, Mary McGinnis. Zoe Dwyer, Ann Hunkins
2:00 - 2:15 Miriam Sagan, featured poet
2:15 - 2:30 Gary Brower, featured poet
Music Intermission

2:30 – 3:00 Music by Blue Rose Ramblers – Jessica Billey & Bud Melvin
3:00 - 3:15 Connie Rossingol, cowgirl poet
3:15 –3:45 Music by LuLu – Lou Blackwell, Greg Louis Candela
3:45 – 4:00 Charles Usmar, featured writer
4:00 – 4:15 Hakim Bellamy, featured poet
4:15 – 5:00 Open Mic & Closing


What else?
There's also the Sunflower Festival, up-to-date coverage at Mountainair Arts. See "Sunflower Food, Music & More." Sunflower Festival tees with silk screened sunflower mosaic (below) print available at Community Center, Cibola Arts and Coffee Cup Court, Alpine Alley.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blogging Poetry

Originally intended as a handout for those taking blogging tutorials and demos at the writing workshop but decided to a) share more widely, and b) address the why blog poetry question.

So this is more about poetry related application than blogging per se. But here's a quick overview to cover the bases.

Back to the matter at hand. What does blogging have to do with poetry? Why bother?

Poetry blogs or plogs (short for poetry blog just as blog is short for 'web log') are about poetry and poets, often but not exclusively written by poets. To wit: this one. I blog poetry but stopped writing it a quarter of a century + ago. Talk about a 10 step program with teeth.

Think of blogs as just another medium, one you may not be so familiar but that you can use for easy, free self-publishing. Blogs encompass journals, diaries, notebooks, musings, essays, poems, reading notes, images, video and music clips. The ultimate vanity press perhaps but still publishing even if online, not hard copy. They are are also easy e-zines and newsletters. A poetry blog can fill the same function as a poetry email list like Dale's TGIT & poem - with the added advantage of archiving and letting readers share comments. Not are they limited to the purely textual and, as such, are an ideal medium for experimental forms as is Linear Poetry. A tool for editing / revision. Tamra Hays has added a poetry section to the Hays Travelogue blog for new poems and tells me it helps her not just keep writing but see re-visioning. The list keeps growing.

How you blog poetry depends on purpose - why you would blog poetry and/or your thoughts about poetry (or not), what you want to accomplish, where you want it to take you.

Blogs are web 2.0, partaking of its social networking features. You can set preferences to limit viewing just to yourself (the blog as an online archive), invite just friends and poetasters colleagues or throw it open to the world. Publish just poetry or an eclectic mixture. Change your mind anytime you want. Publish just your own poetry, share favorites, or emulate Embargo Poets, which publishes English translations of “poetry from countries currently embargoed by the US, and discussion of the poets, poems, and embargoes.”

Consider collective cooperative collaborative functions. Intercapillary Space is a co-operative blog focusing primarily on current British poetry -- a group blog describing itself as “a self-editing poetry & poetics magazine with no single perspective, no single set of interests... no central editorship to impose a tone or commission particular pieces.”

Collaborating differently, as a discussion group, 9for9 is a collection of 9 questions for 9 poets and their answers:
"Some of the questions came from dreams, others from waking ideas. The project was conducted through e-mail, questions arriving in Inboxes once a week, usually on friday.

(QUESTION 1 If you were SUDDENLY the opposite sex, what name would you choose? How are your poems changed?)"
The answers are varied, thought provoking (some at any rate) and more interesting than the question.

Pedagogy: poetry shows up on teaching blogs too. This post at The Miss Rumpius Effect about poetry in the classroom - teaching not language arts but geography, science and social studies. Hmmm... wouldn't using poetry to teach geography relate to "poetry of place"? Geographical Poetry Links.

In short, what you do with it (or not) is up to you...

About poetry blogs
and some poetry blogs:
There are 1,046 Poetry Blogs in the Blog Catalog. No doubt some suck but surely not all.

Footnoting - I didn't see any poetry blogs like this one that are about a poetry event (which does not mean there aren't any) - just single posts about poetry events on poetry, library, literature and book blogs. Let me know if you come across one.

Afterthought -
Even if choose not to blog, visiting other poets' blogs introduces you to a multitude of poets and poetry you might otherwise miss

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poetry of Place

This year's Sunflower Writing Workshop theme - less planned than organically evolving into - would seem to be emerging as PLACE and the poetry of place.

Poetry of place localizes yet, for all that, is universal and timeless. Pausing in one place to observe, reflect, absorb refreshes us from the effects and exhaustions of restless progress. Contemporary and especially US culture and literature value moving on - literal and figurative road trips, lighting out for the territory ahead of the rest, instead of staying in one place and knowing it well. Still, our identity remains tied to place: We don't know who we are unless we know where we are.

About Poetry of Place
A poetry of place is a poetry which values locales, which sees and lets the reader experience what makes a place unique among places. Much contemporary poetry focuses on psychological states, feelings, intellectual concepts, or language play totally devoid of reference to the real, lived, sensually experienced and infinitely varied physical world. Poetry of place may focus on such interior subjects, but it lets us experience them more profoundly and more authentically because theyíre rooted in a specific time and place.

In its fullest sense, the term "place" in poetry includes not only the geographical location and natural environment, but the history of human presence and before. "Place" includes the people living there now, and, as in all poetry, the voice of the speaker of the poem. As Leslie Marmon Silko says, "Viewers are as much a part of the landscape as the boulders they stand on." The speaker may be passing through, or better yet, a longtime resident of a place


Dale's Manzano Sunflowers, keynote poem for both Sunflower Festival and Poets & Writers Picnic, is a place poem.

Yet poetry of place is not exclusively rural landscapes and nature. My own favorites are urban, possibly the lingering effect of a dissertation on cityspace in literature (poetry and novels).

Baudelaire and "Le cygne" hold a special place. Swan/sign evokes multiple times and places from the poet's remembering of a single moment observing an escaped swan in the Place du Carousel. But Cavafy's Alexandria poems take first in my personal poetry & place sweeps. Too many poems vying for preference for me to choose one and stick with it. Sometimes it's "The City," another time "Waiting for the Barbarians," "Exiles" yet another - and so many more. Cavafy's Alexandria poems do more than evoke place: they conflate time in that space. Alexandria, palimpsest.

Cavafy writes, "It goes on being Alexandria still" (Exiles, 1914), referring not to Alexandria in his time but to the one ruled by Emperor Basil, Byzantium. I re-read it here and now in the 21st century, a continent, an ocean and nearly a century away from Cavafy's, and am transported back to Alexandria in the 60s, perhaps taking an Italian ice at Groppi's (still there too) and listening to Greeks waxing nostalgic about pre-War II Alexandria in much the same terms: "However much smaller it has become, it is still a wonderful city"

What's your favorite poem of place?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Introducing: LuLu

What's in a name?
Well, what's in two?
Quite a bit
If the name is Lou.

At first glance, Lou Blackwell and Gregory Louis Candela appear an unlikely musical duo. Greg, a Professor of English, poet, and guitarist with a rich voice that can easily handle smoky vocal solos, seems a natural fit for a coffeehouse folk/blues setting. Lou, an electrical engineer, has played string bass in bluegrass, Western, Celtic, swing, and contra dance bands, but his current passion is playing old-time fiddle, with an occasional turn on mandolin and vocal harmonies.

But good music creates common ground, and so does coming of age in the same "musical generation," one that includes Paul Simon, Neil Young, the Kingston Trio, Arlo Guthrie, and the Fab Four. Greg and Lou have blended their differing performance styles with traditional tunes and nostalgic favorites to build an eclectic repertoire that can vary from a moody rendition of "Scotch and Soda" to the lively fiddle tune "Whiskey Before Breakfast."

Finding the right musical blend was easier for the duo than deciding what to call themselves. Of course, a poet like Greg would immediately note the similarity in names. After flirting with various combinations (Lou-Lou for club dates? Halle-lou-lou for church gigs?), it took another poet, Dale Harris, to point out that "Lulu" is an obvious choice if you read Webster's definition of the word: "something remarkable or wonderful." Whatever the name, come ready for a lulu of a performance.

Copy by Shirley Blackwell... always a bonus not to have to outsource copy

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Introducing: Lou Liberty

Lou was writer in residence at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park during its 25th anniversary year in 2007. The result, Lou’s recent book, Bearing Witness: 25 Years of Refuge, with artist, Margy O’Brien, celebrates the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park.

She also practices mindfulness, writing, and taiko drumming in Albuquerque's North Valley, and is the author of numerous works including prose, poetry and history. Lou is a two time National Endowment for Humanities recipient and a master storyteller.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Introducing: Merimee Moffit

Merimee Moffit promises a link leading us to text delights, but in the meantime offers this tantalizing bit of bio...

My only ambitions as a child, teen, and young adult were to be a saint (1st), a beatnik (2nd), and educated (3rd). I've accomplished all but the first one though teaching eight years in APS eighth grade classes may have been a qualifier for 1st. I'm published in Oasis Journal 05 &06, American Open Mic II, The Fourth Genre, Earthships Anthology, the upcoming Harwood Anthology, and our local Rag (thx to Carol Lewis--mentor extrordinair). I have four kids, almost four grandkids (the 4th almost here), and a patient and wise husband. I'm working on a finished memoir of my wild years. I was named after Prosper Merimée, French short story writer and historian.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Introducing: Hakim Bellamy

Hakim Bellamy is a two-time National Champion in the Poetry Slam scene. He was a member of the 2005 National Poetry Slam Champs Team Albuquerque in his first year of poetry slam, 6 months after his first ever slam, which he also won. The following year he was a member of the 2006 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Champs Team UNM. One Albuquerque City Championship (2005) and 3 consecutive University of New Mexico LOBOSLAM titles later.

Hakim respects the blessing, but could care less about winning poetry slams, as opposed to cultivating creativity. Hence, he is in the process of adding playwright and actor to a resume that already includes: freelance journalist, community organizer and social justice advocate. Hakim’s poetry and journalism have been published internationally as well as his radio journalism on KUNM 89.9FM out of Albuquerque, NM.

Currently, Hakim works for the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs and is a board member for Poetic Justice Institute and Black Cowgirl Productions as well. He is most proud of being the Poetry Club coach at South Valley Academy . His poetry has been published on Albuquerque inner-city buses as a winner of the RouteWords Competition (2005) as well as in the Harwood Anthology (2006), the Earthships Anthology (2007), Sin Fronteras Journal (2008) and A Bigger Boat (UNM Press 2008), about the Albuquerque Slam scene. In January, Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist.

For more information, please visit:
scene. He was a member of the 2005 National Poetry Slam Champs Team Albuquerque in his first year of poetry slam, 6 months after his first ever slam, which he also won. The following year he was a member of the 2006

With my own two hands...

Two hands do the most damage
When they are held in pockets

Impotent actions are less fertile than whimsical fucks
One night stand…

With keys on it
The other night stands alone
Formerly partner to a plane ticket and a passport

At least we can leave mistakes made
At least rough, rugged and raw sided mountains give leverage
Some footing to push off from into a sea of growth
At the very least we can learn how to kick our own asses
Learn the launch sequence to picking ourselves up

We learn more about our chemistry that way
Formulas that mix mistakes with whiskeys however sour
Confuse highs with balls
Mix tequilas and sunrises
Tequilas and sunrises
Tequilas after sunrise after sunrise after sunrise

That never lead to asking the future for her hand
That never lead to asking the future for a dance
Sunrise after sunrise of never making a pass at chance
Failures as seductive as successes ‘cause it is the suspension of foreplay
The erotica of being hung and pierced at the same time…that really makes you blow your

Puddle your seat
It’s the lifting that makes you feel something
The pull and pinch, the release of endorphins, YES YOU ARE ALIVE!
The rising you never have to do unless you fell
The rising you never know how to do unless you fall

So fall
With both arms extended, doing something
Realizing the gravity of our existence
We were put down here on earth to get up

Armed to break falls and build skyscrapers
Whether make miracles or mistakes
With open arms we can
make something.
© Hakim Bellamy July 16, 2008

More poems to come from Hakim ....
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