Thursday, April 30, 2009

poetry workshop

SW Writers Poetry Workshop - Saturday, June 20 9 am- 5 pm. All prices include lunch.

At New Life Presbyterian Church, 5540 Eubank NE (north of Spain)

To reserve your place, call the SWW office, 265-9485. For additional information, contact Jeanne Shannon, 296-0691;

SWW Member prices:
$59 register by May 1 (early bird special)
$69 register by May 31
$75 register at door

Non-member prices:
$69 register by May 1
$79 register by May 31
$85 register at the door

So who or what are "Southwest Writers"? Beats me - info not included in press release & no time today to look it up. Yet another reason it's perhaps just as well that poets not at many helms.

Included though since the "early bird" deadline for best rate is May 1.

Thursday, April 30 is Poem In Your Pocket Day

What is "Poem In Your Pocket Day"? It's simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, friends, neighbors, anonymous passers-by and other unsuspecting innocent bystanders.

According to the Academy of American Poets, "Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores." Maybe not everywhere (I'm pretty sure not here in Mountainair), but give it your best shot anyway.

There's always email, perhaps safer from the slings & arrows of unappreciative audiences.

Fill Your Pockets with Poems: Clothesline Full of Poetry!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poetry Daily's Poet's Pick, April 27

Jon Pineda's Poetry Month Pick, April 27, 2009

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

(Now say "Poet Pineda's Poetry Pick" 10 times as fast as you can....)

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. * Jon Pineda Comments:
Given the current state of the economy, I felt Shelley’s “Ozymandias” would be a poignant poem to revisit, especially with the way in which the reader becomes the final witness to the “colossal Wreck, boundless and bare.” At the start, the poem quickly moves from the announced first person to the detailed account of the “traveller” (who goes on to reveal the various details of the “shattered” ruler’s monument). This subtle shift is, in some ways, a relinquishing of responsibility for the unfolding narrative.

By the end of the poem, it is the reader who is left to not only sift through the “decay,” but to be equally consumed by it as well. In rejoining the remnants of the mocking sculpture with the sterile bravado of the “King of Kings,/ Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” the reader is (to further the irony) put to work by the ruler, rebuilding again the affecting presence of the ego, all while the insipid structure of the void beckons in those “lone and level sands stretch[ing] far away.”

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. *About Jon Pineda:
Jon Pineda is the author of Birthmark (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry Open Competition, and The Translator's Diary (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008), winner of the 2007 Green Rose Prize. His memoir, Sleep in Me, is forthcoming in 2010 from the University of Nebraska Press. He currently teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte, and this June, he will be on faculty at the Tinker Mountain Writers' Workshop held on campus at Hollins University.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lecture Series, “Vision and Visionaries in the Middle Ages,” April 27–30

Albuquerque, NM. UNM’s Institute for Medieval Studies hosts its Twenty-Fourth Spring Lecture Series, “Vision and Visionaries in the Middle Ages,” April 27–30, 2009. The event includes six lectures and a concert; the final lecture will incorporate a performance element with actors and a choir. All sessions will take place in Room 101 of Woodward Hall on the main UNM campus. The lecture series is supported by a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council and is free and open to the public.

Lectures related to book arts or poetry

Monday, April 27, 7:15 p.m.
Jeffrey Hamburger, “Openings
We forget how the bound book's basic visual unit, two pages that face one another, shaped our perception of books. Imagine the striking contrast of the bound book that originated in Late Antiquity to the scrolls used in the ancient world. When a medieval book was opened at any point, the verso of one leaf confronted the recto of the following leaf. The innovation created a new medium - a visual field for scribes and artists. Openings made possible visual elaboration of words, frames, and full-page miniatures. This lecture explores the semantics and revelatory possibilities this new medium as it developed from the fifth to the fifteenth century.
Tuesday, April 28, 5:15 p.m.
Jeffrey Hamburger, “As It Were’: Mysticism and Visuality
By definition, the ineffable lies beyond visual or verbal representation. The word “mysticism” comes from the Greek myein, “to remain silent” or “to close the lips or eyes.” What place can there be for the visible in a system of thought predicated on obscurity and blindness? Extending the paradox: were mystics to fall silent, there would not be any mystical literature. Yet a discourse that by definition shuns the senses was carried via those same senses. Although controversial, mysticism’s sensory and, at times, sensual side was integrated into the spiritual. Illusionistic strategies made images more persuasive, changing attitudes towards works of art. Not even the Reformation could undo this affirmation of the visual.
Bible Moralisée

Tuesday, April 28, 7:15 p.m.
Katherine Tachau, “Illuminating the Science of the Stars in the Thirteenth-Century Bibles Moralisées
Bibles Moralisées, first produced in the thirteenth century for members of the French royal family, are extensively and sumptuously illustrated manuscripts, each containing thousands of pictures. By contrast, they contain a relatively small amount of text that paraphrases actual Old and New Testament text.

Dante Alighieri, exiled from Florence,
holding a copy of the Commedia

Wednesday, April 29, 7:15 p.m.
Christopher Kleinhenz, “Dante’s Vision of the Afterlife”
In this lecture on the supreme masterpiece of medieval literature, Christopher Kleinhenz will first discuss the various sorts of “visions” and “ways of seeing” present in the medieval world before looking specifically at Dante’s representation of the afterlife in the Divine Comedy. He will examine the afterlife both as a real and traversable place/space and as a moral and spiritual construct. He will also consider the meaning and functionality of the afterlife in Dante’s Comedy, examining in particular how the poem represents the operation of Divine Justice through the nature of the punishments in the Inferno, the purgation process in Purgatory, and the concept of beatitude in Paradise. The lecture will include discussion of the artistic sources of Dante’s rich poetic language and imagery, and of the rich illustrative tradition that his poem generated in manuscript illuminations and book illustrations. The lecture will be accompanied by many fine visual images.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

REMINDER, Sat Apr 25: book arts, artful poetry

Lost Pages, Found Poems”, a hands-on demonstration of book arts, will be held Sat. April 25 from 11 am to 2 pm on the 2nd Floor of the Main Library near the exhibit area. LIBROS members will guide participants in creating artful poetry from re-cycled books and provide craft materials and tips on how to find a poem on a printed page from books such as Readers Digest anthologies and novels, then turn them into greeting cards, book marks or frame-able art pieces. All ages are welcome.

The Albuquerque/ Bernalillo Main Library is located at 501 Copper Avenue NW in downtown Albuquerque. For information about hours and services, call 505-768-5141 or 311.

Dale Harris, 505-242-4930,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Song of Myself, Walt Whitman

Can't improve on About Poetry's Song of Myself, Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, 1900). Read the rest of it again for the first time...

Whitman, Walt. 1900. Leaves of Grass

by Oregon artist Rick Bartow

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NPM Going Global

A National Poetry Month selection emphasizing the international, from About Poetry...

Explore haiku, hip hop, sonnets, ghazals, epics, limericks — all kinds of poets and poetry from around the world.


Poets of the Middle Eastern World

Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian Poet of Loss and Exile, 1942-2008: “Palestinian poet, essayist and political activist whose voice was among the most powerful and resonant in late 20th century Arab literature. He spoke for two generations of Palestinians mostly abandoned by the Arab world, oppressed and infantilized by Israel, and betrayed by their own array of corrupt and self-serving Palestinian leaders.”

Poetry connecting civilizations in conflict — Coleman Barks honored by Iran for his translations of Rumi

American Bards

Allen Ginsberg There is no doubt who was the American Bard for the end of the 20th century: Allen Ginsberg was a mountain of possibility, growing tree of life, beyond-laser zap for poetry expansion and integration into the life of the citizenry. His American Sentences are a unique modern variation on the ancient Japanese form of haiku.

Walt Whitman — The quintessential American bard of liberation

Poetry in the Common Language

Australian Rhyming Slang how to decipher the rhyming slang you might hear Down Under at “the Rubbity-Dub” (pub).

Limericks — another traditional form of poem commonly found in the pub

Keep on going global -

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Word up: word/s (logos) = power... letters, a single word, verb, language, metaphor, telling, runes (often made from bones)

Reesom Haile

To our language.
the sauce
With spicy melted
Berbere pepper
And sea salt.
The bones are big
Not only for the flavor.
Take them
Like communion.

(English translation by Charles Cantalupo)


Rondelet (Medieval verse form)
by Anonymous

I never meant
For you to go. The thing you heard
I never meant
for you to hear. The night you went
away I knew our whole absurd
sweet world had fallen with a word
I never meant.


Poison Tree, William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine -

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.


Von toten Buchstaben auferstanden, machst du erst Sinn, machst du erst Sinn, wenn du nicht wie Erz tönst sondern aus voller Kehle ins Blaue springst. Aber hoffe nicht, daß Engel dich fangen. Ob du steigst oder stürzt, hängt allein davon ab, ob deine toten Buchstaben zu Lebzeiten Oben oder Unten die tiefere, die höhere Bedeutung beilegten.


Resurrected out of dead letters you will
make sense only if you don't become sounding
brass, but spring straight from your barrel
chest into the blue. But don't hope for angels
to catch you. Whether you take wing or fall depends
only on this: was it to up or to down that your
dead letters in their lifetime attributed the deeper,
the higher meaning.

Richard Anders, German, born 1928 in Ortelsburg (now Szczytno, Poland).

Rune poems

Friday, April 10, 2009


ABQ GRAND SLAM is this Saturday, April 11: the top 10 performance poets in the 505 battle for a spot on the 2009 ABQ National Poetry Slam team and the Albuquerque City Championship at Saturday's 2009 ABQ Grand Slam at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The top four from the Grand Slam will represent Albuquerque at the International National Poetry Slam, West Palm Beach, FL, August 2009. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or the NHCC Box Office @$8 general admission & $5 seniors & students. Information: call/text Kenn Rodriguez at 505.379.2666 or email

LIBROS - A reminder from Dale that this Saturday April 11th, 1 - 3 pm is the LIBROS Book Arts poetry reading at the downtown Main Library in the Auditorium on the lower level (across from the Children's Books section, which sounds about right, doesn't it?)

Saturday's reading is held in conjunction with the LIBROS annual exhibit (on the 2nd floor) during the month of April where you can see some stunning, poetry based book art - and at the reading you can hear the poetry that went into them. Featured readers are Rachel Ballantine, Karin Bradberry, Debbie Brody, Ken Gurney, Dale Harris, Sandra Lynn, Marilyn Stablein and Elaine Schwartz. The reading is co-hosted by Dale Harris & Karin Bradberry. Please bring some work to read on the open mic

Sanjevani Poetry Circle, April 13

Wednesday, April 15, MASPoetry will celebrate National Poetry with the infamous BAD POETRY SLAM - the worst of the worst – original poems preferred but poems by others accepted. All other rules are in effect. Clear out that briefcase under your bed where you hide your most wretched writing attempts and come share your biggest misses with us on Wednesday, April 15 at Winning Coffee Co., 111 Harvard SE. Show starts promptly at 7 p.m. with sign-up at 6:30. We’ll also have bad open-mic & terrible music.

Poetry @ Hays Travelogue

Tamra is doing NoPoWriMo – prompts & writing a poem a day. She writes @ Hay’s Travelogue:

NaPoWriMo #10: thrift store, April 10th, 2009

Today’s Read Write Poem prompt was to “find” a poem in another written work. I found mine in a recipe from 500 Years of Ottoman Cuisine.

Lady’s Belly
is an Ottoman dessert,
the oldest of a group
which includes
waterpump sweet,
vizier’s finger,
and beauty’s lip.

Make the little bellies
from buttery dough
laced with rosewater,
and flatten each one
using the tip of your finger
to impress a tiny navel.

A hot oven prepares them
for the brief, fast frolic
in lemony syrup
that will finish them off.

Serves 4.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Poetry International Web: Poem of the Week

Agudelo, Columbian poet is the find of the week - just the sort of discovery that reminds me what I'm missing not keeping up with Latin American poetry more diligently. Follow the link at the bottom of the page for more of his poems. In addition to work by poets I know not just from reading, April's poetry quest includes contemporary German poetry encountered in my search for a particular poet whose name I can't remember but whose verse I will recognize. That's the April deal: more poetry; no back to back announcements.

, William Agudelo
Requiem for the horse
for its always friendly smell and the odour
soaked in guarapo of its piss
for the gait of its hooves,
gentle like carpenters’ fingers.
Requiem for the blackness of its mane
combed in rainy afternoons
for its Palm-Sunday tail
for its coarse trot and its trips
when drawing the cart on hazardous ground
requiem for its short gallop
for its curved and shiny rump
for the bass tube of the feminine
and festive organs in its gullet
requiem for its coat
of living velvet for its thick-lipped
udder tenderness
for its straight forehead and its cross
for the panic white of its eyes
and the calm chewing of grass
and requiem for the joy (this, my joy)
f running and jumping petrified
on the bitter prairies of death.

© Translation: 2009, Nicolás Suescún

Arte de morir (fragmento 2)

Réquiem por el caballo
por su olor siempre amigo y el ambiente
impregnado a guarapo de sus meadas
por su paso de cascos bondadosos
como los dedos de los carpinteros.
Réquiem por la negrura de sus crines
peinadas en las tardes de la lluvia
por su cola de Domingo de Ramos
por su trote ramplón y sus traspiés
tirando del carretón en suelo falso
réquiem por su galope corto
por sus ancas combadas y lustrosas
por el tubo del bajo de los órganos
femenino y festivo en su garganta
réquiem por su pelaje
de terciopelo vivo por sus belfos
con ternura de ubre
por su recta testuz y por su cruz
por el blanco del pánico en sus ojos
y por la calma de mascar la hierba
y réquiem por el gozo (éste, mi gozo)
de correr y saltar petrificado
en las praderas agrias de la muerte.

© 2005, William Agudelo

Sanjevani Poetry Circle, April 13

Cheerfully cribbed from original post by Bill Nevins @ abqslam list, yahoo groups, If you subscribe, then you've seen this & can pass on w/o reading; if not & a local reader, I encourage subscribing

Monday, April 13
, 7 pm @ Sanjevani Health & Lifestyle Center, 7920 Wyoming NE Suite B - south of Paseo Del Norte (Bank of the West Complex). Host: Bill Nevins, 264 6979, bill_nevins@

A round robin Poets Living Room/Talking Gourds style reading inspired by the model of the Taos Poetry Circus, open to all, followed by our Monthly Feature Poetry Performance.

Sanjevani Poetry Circle's April Poetry Month Feature Poet is Gary Stewart Chorre of Belen, New Mexico. Author of the poetry collection Bits and Pieces of a Faint Shadow, Gary Chorre has been part of the New Mexico and other poetry communities for decades. Born in NY State of American Indian and European heritage, he lived in London as a child, traveled the world, attended Albuquerque public schools and UNM and graduated from Whittier College in California. His verse reflects his interest in rigorous martial arts and physical training.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Poetry Month

I could say - aren't they all? I noted International Poetry Day last month but missed the 1st week of National Poetry Month - late start. Let's not call it a metaphor for anything just yet.

About poetry, Poetry Daily and (American Academy of Poets) are all offering "poem a day" specials, the first two automatically emailed to newsletter subscribers and the last (sans newsletter) by email subscription. The Poetry Foundation (splendid site, good audio & children's poetry collections) does its bit too.

An interesting post @ Slog opens with "Poetry is in trouble" and is about the current state of poetry, as currently under discussion @ the Foundation site. According to the NEA and Newsweek, in 2008, just 8.3 percent of adults had read any poetry in the preceding 12 months.

Does that make April catch-up month? Don't read poetry (or much of anything else) and pollute the rest of the year: make up for transgressions in April like the cultural/ environmental equivalent of Easter Duty. I don't think so.

And more: Poem in your Pocket Day, Poetry Read-a-Thon - and even a Poster & an official logo. The only thing missing - drunken brawls. Where is Dylan Thomas when we really need him?
click image to view larger version

Last year, chez plog surveyed local offerings to and served up April Cyberspecials and selected poetry blogs. This year's April is an open book, for the most part still unread. What can you say about a month that opens with Fool's Day and ends with Walpurgisnacht? Talk about mulch for metaphor...

Options (not limited to April): read poetry; read about poetry, poetics, prosody; write poetry; all or any combination of the preceding. Doing just one does not make much sense to me, but this is not the kingdom of the ants where all that is not compulsory is forbidden as well as the other way around.

Month's mission (impossible too according to NEA & Newsweek), should I choose to accept it: plog poems & writers writing them. Already on the menu: more Fibonacci & other poems from Tony; introducing other poets & poetry. More poetry & related peculiarosities, less announcing & calendration.

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