Saturday, May 23, 2009

Press Release: 2009 PWP & Workshop

Press Release: 2009 Poets & Writers Picnic (Aug 22) and Sunflower Poetry Workshop (Aug 20-22)

The 12th Annual Poets & Writers Picnic and Sunflower Poetry Workshop will be held at the Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair, NM, during the town’s 10th Annual Sunflower Festival.

Dates: Poets & Writers Picnic, Sat. Aug. 22, noon to 5 pm outdoors in the Shaffer’s Gazebo yard; the Sunflower Poetry Workshop will run concurrently, Thurs. thru Sat. Aug. 20-22. The annual Sunflower Festival is Sat. August 22 as well.

The Poets & Writers Picnic is a long-standing, popular literary event that celebrates its 12-year anniversary this August. Held in the Gazebo garden at the Shaffer Hotel, the varied program includes invited writers and poets reading from their work; live music; an open mic for public participation; and a publications table offering books, chapbooks, newsletters, and CDs. The Picnic runs all afternoon, noon to 5 pm. Attendees bring picnic lunches and blankets, lawn chairs, and generally end up barefoot and very relaxed. People come from all over and make Mountainair their destination for this day, enjoying both the Poets & Writers Picnic and Sunflower Festival events around town.

The Manzano Mountain Arts Council has sponsored the Poets & Writers Picnic since its inception, with Dale Harris and Vanessa Vaile as the co-coordinators. The Picnic’s internet poetry blog of the same name, Poets & Writers Picnic, publicizes the event, introduces featured poets and writers, publishes regular updates on Picnic and Sunflower schedules, as well as providing interesting history and information about the Shaffer Hotel and the town of Mountainair:

This is the fifth year for the concurrent Sunflower Poetry Workshop. Participants stay at the Hotel or other local accommodations while attending. Workshop sessions are held at the Shaffer Hotel and in outdoor settings around the area. Typically, workshop activities open with a "Poets Tour of Mountainair" exercise where participants walk around town, visit local stores and generally get to know the town, collecting impressions for later writing - and maybe do some shopping too! A ‘plein air’ writing excursion to nearby Gran Quivera National Monument is also planned for this year’s workshop.

Guest faculty for the 2009 Sunflower Poetry Workshop will be Gary Mex Glazner. He is an exciting poet, humorist and teacher with a national reputation. His books include How to Make a Living as a Poet (which he says is fiction!) and How to Make a Life as a Poet (a true story). Gary currently resides in New York City where he manages the Bowery Poetry Club. When he lived in Santa Fe, Gary promoted many innovative community poetry activities including the Alzheimers Poetry Project, which went national and is still ongoing Best of all, he is a favorite son of nearby Willard where he grew up spending summers on his family’s ranch. Gary will also be a featured poet at the Poets & Writers Picnic.

For more info, contact: Dale Harris at or Vanessa Crary Vaile at

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