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Sin Fronteras Journal Issue #23 is Out

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SF 23 coverSin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Issue #23 has just arrived from the printer.  It features the work of 48 contributors, mostly poets.  Six are from southern New Mexico, seven from other parts of the state, a few more from the greater southwest.  Others are from all over the country, from Washington State to Massachusetts to Florida, and three live beyond our nation’s borders.

Some poems speak directly to southern border issues.  Others focus on different kinds of borders: between people, their communication and miscommunication, or between people and wildlife, or people and their pasts.  The editors were pleased to have a rich mix to draw from.

The cover art is by Deret Roberts, local artist and gallery owner.  You can learn more about his gallery at www.artobscuragallery,com.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this issue, or submit for the next annual issue, go to the Journal’s own website: http://www.sinfronterasjournal.com.  Be sure to check the guidelines and notice that submissions sent to the email address before April 1 will not be read.

 

 

 

 

We Love Lit in Las Cruces

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It’s February and once again the Sin Fronteras folks will be presenting a “For Love of Lit” reading as part of “For Love of Art Month.”

The event will be Saturday, February 23, 10:00 to 12:00, at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces.  Outside the Farmers and Crafts Market will be in full swing.  Come inside and sit down for a while.

Fifteen readers have signed up to read.  If you’ve attended in previous years, you’ll notice a mix of familiar voices and new ones.  Here is the line-up, if all goes as planned: Dick Thomas, Lee Ann Meadows, Peter Goodman, Joanne Townsend, Richard Miles, Alice Wallace, Gerry Stork, Ellen Roberts Young, Joe Somoza, Dael Goodman, Charles Harper, Joanne Turnbull, Bruce Holsapple, Michel Wing, Frank Varela.

Michael Mandel will be the master of ceremonies.

 

Energy in the Study

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The house we live in was built to order for a family with three children.  We can tell because the master bedroom is on one side of the living area and at the other are three small bedrooms, each with a small built-in desk and a set-back window with a storage box in front of it.  One of these rooms is now my study.

In my sporadic reading about feng shui, one thing that has stuck with me is that if a window is placed opposite a door, energy (chi) will come in the door and go straight out the window.  So it is good to have a plant to divert that energy.  That is how my study is arranged.  For some time I have had some grass heads from one of our grass plants on the box in the window.  Recently I acquired a parlor palm, hoping it will like the northern light.  This week I decided it was time for flowers.

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Looking at this, I get an image of the chi going around these three in figure eights until it gets quite dizzy, and never gets over to me at my desk at all.  There can be too much of a good thing.  But I don’t really think that’s what’s going on, because they give me so much pleasure.

I should stop admiring the scene and get that palm into a pot worthy of its size and growth potential.

Becoming a Bigger Fish

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my bookshelf

. . . in a small pond.  I was surprised and pleased to receive an honor this past weekend.  The Friends of the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library made me an honorary life member.

It was a surprise because I haven’t done very much with them (in my estimation).  I’ve been busy serving on the Library Advisory Board, which serves as liaison with the City Councilors, for the last eight years.

True, I did encourage support and pay attention to the Friends, come to book sales and every other event I could get to, and work toward a closer connection between the two organizations. (The Advisory Board can’t raise money; it advises and supports the Library Administrator on financial and other matters.  The Friends do raise funds and receive a wish-list from the Administrator for items beyond the city budget.)

So they decided to thank me. In the bio I wrote for them I did stress the importance of libraries in my life.

Libraries have been important to her from her childhood in Campbell, California to taking her sons to the Ardmore library in Pennsylvania, to research in the Philadelphia Free Library and the Library of Congress.

I didn’t mention that when I had a career module in early high school, I didn’t have the courage to find a writer to interview, so I interviewed our local librarian.  It has always seemed to me the next best thing.  If you can’t write books, take care of them.

I’m sure I’ll be hearing from the Friends of Branigan Library about further support.  That’s how these things work.  That’s just fine with me.

For more on the Branigan library, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Branigan_Memorial_Library

Celebrating the Kerf

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scan0001I have a poem in the current issue of the Kerf, a small journal out of College of the Redwoods in northern California.  This journal is part of the Del Norte Center for Writing of that college, which is located in Crescent City.

I want to spread the word about this journal because there is a lot I like about it, beginning with the fact that they have chosen a very nice selection of poems in this issue, mostly – but not all – by people I’ve never heard of.  Other features I like:

  • They only do poetry. They take formal as well as free verse poems, and two page poems as well as short ones.
  • They don’t organize the poems in alphabetical order by the poet’s last name; they make creative juxtapositions. (As a poet whose last name begins with Y, I really appreciate finding my poem on page 12.)
  • They often include more than one poem by an author, but put them in separate places.
  • They advertise an interest in “humanity and environmental consciousness” which turns out to have a wide scope.

And they operate without a website or email submissions.  This is one reason I want to spread the word about them.  They advertise annually in Poets & Writers, but they’re hard to find elsewhere.

My poem, Human/Nature, explores some of the contact points between humans and the rest of nature, especially as found here in the rapidly growing city of Las Cruces.  My favorite part, if it is possible to have a favorite part in one’s own poem, is

A puma is sighted near
the new subdivision.
As in a child’s puzzle, which
of these things does not belong?
The puma does not go willingly.

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The reading period for the Kerf is about to begin.  Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted between January 15 and March 31. Include name and address on all manuscripts, enclose an SASE and send to:

the Kerf
College of the Redwoods
883 West Washington Blvd.
Crescent City, CA 95531-8361

A copy of the journal is available for $5.00, a good price for 54 pages of varied and stimulating poems.

Poetry in Las Cruces

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For several years now I have managed a monthly list of local literary events.  It has only now occurred to me that there are readers of this blog who are local who may not know about this list.  So here is the October edition.

And if you’re not local, this may give you a clue that southern New Mexico is a good place for writers.

Kery’s List is a monthly list of literary events in Southern New Mexico, distributed around the beginning of the month from August through May.  The address, if you’d like to be on it, is at the bottom.

 Tuesday, October 9, Branigan Library, 1:30 p.m.

John Coleman II will talk about his book The Outcome . . . One man’s journey to make a difference, a work of political fiction.  The talk will be in the Roadrunner Room of the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.  Refreshments will be served.  John Coleman II is a Naval Academy graduate who has given 24 years of service to his country. He has also rebuilt houses and antique automobiles, climbed the Grand Canyon, owned a deep-sea boat, been a strategic planner and public speaker. He now lives in New Mexico at the base of the Organ Mountains, where he writes both fiction and non-fiction books

 Friday, October 12, Hardman Jacobs Hall, NMSU, 7:30 p.m.

Prose writer Joshua Wheeler will read.  Wheeler is from Alamogordo. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, New Mexico State University and has an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. His essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many literary journals. He is a coeditor of the anthology, We Might as Well Call it The Lyric Essay. His first book is Acid West: Essays, of which a reviewer has written “He aims to put Southern New Mexico on the map.”

 Sunday, October 14, Truth or Consequences, 1:00 p.m.

The Black Cat Sunday Poets will continue to meet at the Geronimo Springs Museum on 211 Main Street through the winter, on the second Sunday of the month. Poets are welcome to come read their original work (up to 3 poems.) They offer an appreciative, nonjudgmental listening group & even have coffee & snacks.

Tuesday, October 16, Palacio Bar, 7:30 p.m.

Sin Fronteras open reading.  Bring 3 poems or 5 minutes of prose to read.  Sign up at 7:30, reading begins at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 20, Silver City, 2:00 p.m.

Just Words at the Tranquilbuzz Coffee House, at 112 W. Yankie St., features poets Eve West Bessier and Raven Drake, followed by open mic for poetry and short prose.

Sunday, October 21, Jules’ Poetry Playhouse, Albuquerque, 2:00 p.m.

Las Cruces poets Dick Thomas and Joe Somoza will be doing a poetry reading. Jules’ Poetry Playhouse is at 1001 5th St. NW.

Kery’s List is managed by K. Ellen Roberts Young.  To subscribe, unsubscribe, or contribute information, email: keryslist@cs.com.

 

Late Summer in the Garden

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Something finally brought me back to the blog after a rather frantic summer.  A picture of a weed.

velcro plantWell, most people call it a weed, but I consider it a wildflower.  It’s current popular name is velcro plant; it was formerly called stickleaf.  If you pull it up you will find out why.  It’s proper name is said to be Mentzelia.  This particularly fine specimen is growing at the edge of our pool deck.

Since I had the camera out, I looked around to see what else is currently showing off.  Here is my hummingbird bush.

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Like most of my garden, it is doing just fine being neglected.  Across the yard from this is my tallest grass plant.

p1010093.jpgWhat you see is the top half of the high wall that holds up the ground of the house behind us and a very little of the great mound of leaves which supports these feathery spikes of seed.  In the mornings small birds land on the seed heads and weigh them down.

I have never learned the proper name of this giant grass.  As for the hummingbird bush I have looked it up more than once, but don’t remember.  So much to learn, so much else to occupy the mind.

 

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