The 2009 PWP lineup and writing workshop are shaping up. Dale Harris is hostess, mc, organizer, head cat-herder, whatever as usual - adding singing, workshop coordinating and teaching to the list. Ken Gurney (founder and former editor of Origami Condom) joins Dale as co-mc. For the workshop, Gary Glazner (currently Managing Director of the Bowery Poetry Club, NYC), also reading, joins workshop faculty. “Staff” sounds like clerking or cleaning up after poets, but “faculty” does not sound quite right either - too academic. I'm open to suggestions for another name.
through the gate & into the garden of poets
Readings open with writing workshop participants performing their group workshop poem, created from consecutive verses from individual poems written on same (workshop) theme read in alternating rounds. Last years theme and title was "This town is... this is my town," for the greater part about Mountainair, making the group poem a Mountainair mini-epic. A short open mic session follows group, leading into featured readers. Additional open mic time will be scheduled during the picnic.
Excerpt from “This Town” (Susan Paquet, Workshop 2008)
In this town
You might see
A pair of thousand dollar cowboy boots with a
Trophy blond hanging like a puppy on his side
You might hear
Janglin spurs scratching up a brand new maroon SUV
But he ain’t from here
Mountainair got real cowboys
This is my town.
To date, individual 2009 featured readers (with only a few confirmations MIA) are Dale (time - hers - permitting & hopefully reading "Manzano Sunflowers," her iconic Sunflower Festival / Picnic poem), Ken Gurney, Gary Glazner, Jim Fish, Tamra Hays, Kate Horsley, Lisa Gill, Mitch Rayes, Gary Brower and Nancy Costea. Updates as we go along...
Each year, PWP hosts a poetry writing group that performs as a group. NM Word Weavers (Karin Bradberry, Elaine Schwartz, Merimee Moffitt, Kate Padilla, Sylvia Ramos, Chandra Bales) weave their words for us this year. And don't forget the music: NM Celtic Singers, LuLu (Lou Blackwell and Greg Candela) - and any poet showing up with guitar or accompanist. Here’s hoping for Michael Hays with oud,
Children's Sunflower Art Project on display:
construction paper sunflowers in a storefront window
You missed Indian Market
And of course the sunflowers.
As usual they swept across August
At first a few, a yellow trickle along the fence line
Then more, making pools in the pasture
And splashing down into the arroyo
Then incredibly many more,
Dappling the distance,
As though a giant hand had buttered the land.
Yet with the entire prairie to expand into,
They prefer crowds of themselves
They mass along the roadside,
Lined up as though a parade were about to pass.
Here and there one stands alone,
But not for long.
Soon his kin will come
And there will be sunflower squalor
There will be sunflower squalor, a floral slum.
Once they are out,
They will not be ignored.
Stretching their skinny stalks,
They top our roofline,
Press against the window screens,
And peep in at the door.
Familiar foot paths to the out buildings are obscured,
And from the road we seem afloat,
Our cabin, an odd tin boat
In a sea of sunflower faces.
They are the most staccato of flowers.
I catch them humming snatches of polkas
And John Phillips Sousa Marches,
Bobbing in the wind to the Boogaloo,
The Boogie Woogie and the Lindy Hop.
I call their names,
Clem, Clarissa, Sarah Jane
To try and tame them.
My neighbor comes by.
She has a field full
They’re useless, she complains.
Her horses can’t eat them.
I should hope not! I exclaim,
After she’s gone.
I don’t remember if you even liked sunflowers
But you liked life
And they are all about that.
Today I wrote to your family, finally.
I expect they are occupying themselves,
With beautiful gestures
In order to get over the grief of you.
As for me, I have sunflowers.
and more sunflower poems….