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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.

 

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The Other Side of the Mountain

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Recently I wanted to get out into some green.  I decided to visit Picacho Peak.  The name is redundant, since “picacho” is Spanish for peak, but that doesn’t seem to trouble anyone.  There is one in Arizona, too.  Like the one near Las Cruces, it is an isolated mountain.

Looking west from Las Cruces, the mountain looks very dry.  To climb it, one goes through several housing developments and some private land to a BLM parking lot on the western side.mtn from parking area

To get to the peak from the parking lot one must go through an arroyo and a few other ups and downs.arroyo

After that the trail is surprisingly straight.  In this closer picture, the hole at the right is along a particularly steep part of the trail, which then angles up across the picture to the outcrop (a small dark splotch) at the left. closer to mtn

That outcrop was a far as I got.  The trail is steep and I was definitely out of condition. I don’t think this trail was laid out by recreation experts, but by people who wanted the shortest way to the top.  I estimate I got about half way up the one and a half mile trail.outcrop

But it was nice to be on a green slope for a while.  Here’s a view from part way back toward the parking lot. to parking area

“For Love of Lit” Reading, February 28

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Reblogged from http://www.sinfronterasjournal.com for my local followers.

Sin Fronteras (the organization, not the Journal), in conjunction with Artforms, is sponsoring a poetry reading Saturday, February 28, 1-3 p.m. at the Branigan Cultural Center (Swartz Room), 500 N. Water St. in Las Cruces.  The reading, “For the Love of Lit,” will be part of For the Love of Art celebration.  The following poets will be reading:  Win Jacobs, Michael Mandel, Catherine McGeehan, Lee Ann Meadows, Joseph Somoza, Tim Staley, Gerry Stork, Dick Thomas, Joanne Townsend, Frank Varela, and Ellen Roberts Young.  The reading is free and open to the public.

February has been “For the Love of Art” month in Las Cruces for many years.  This is the fourth or fifth annual “For Love of Lit”  reading.  The readers are local poets who may or may not be connected with the Journal.

Issue #19 of the Journal has just gone to the printer and should be out in about a month.

He’s Back

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distanceWhen we first arrived in Las Cruces, the huge Roadrunner at the rest area looking over the city from the west seemed like a major symbol for the city.  After a few years he had to be taken away for maintenance.  He is made entirely of old “stuff” and pieces were coming loose.

close upWhile he was under repair there was a great deal of discussion about where he should be re-installed.

sideWe were pleased to see, on our first trip west in some time last week, that the original site won out.  He looks very grand there, and very perky.rearThe giant roadrunner has his eye on the city once again.

Photos courtesy of Paul Young.

 

Poetry in Las Cruces, February 22

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Do you remember when we celebrated Washington’s birthday on February 22?  This year February 22 is Poetry Day in Las Cruces, as one of the For Love of Art events that fill the month.  We are calling it “For Love of Lit.”

Where: Branigan Cultural Center, Swarz Room

When: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22.

Eleven local poets will read their work: Dick Thomas, LeeAnn Meadows, Frank Varela, Christine Eber, Tim Staley, Ellen Roberts Young, John Muir, Joanne Townsend, Gerry Stork, Sarah Nolan, and Joseph Somoza.

Come hear a variety of voices and styles, in celebration of the art of poetry.

Dick Thomas reads at the event in 2013.  Photo by Susan Gomez

Dick Thomas reads at the event in 2013. Photo by Susan Gomez

Sin Fronteras Journal Accepting Submissions for Issue #18

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Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Journal now has its own website.  The Journal is now accepting submissions for next spring’s issue, #18.  The details can be found at: http://sinfronterasjournal.com/submissions/

Sin Fronteras Journal is published in Las Cruces, New Mexico, forty miles from the border and very much within a border mentality.  While we are interested in featuring border writers and writing about the border, we are not limited to that concept.  Send some of your best work according to the instructions at the site listed above.

Yes, we are still asking for snail mail submissions.  With seventeen years of tradition behind us we are moving into the twenty-first century one step at a time.

 

A Different Kind of Christmas Poem

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George Washington Crossing the Delaware

by Wayne Crawford

I have never crossed the Delaware River nor stood in a row-boat. while crossing any other river. If I were crossing a river in a rowboat, I would never stand with one foot propped on the edge of the boat, especially an overcrowded boat. I imag- ine that if I were to cross a river in a boat, I might cross the Delaware River, and the waves of the river would rise and chop against my boat like those in this painting of “George Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze. In this painting, General Washington is crossing the Delaware on Christmas day. It is a windy, overcast day. Clumps of ice, the height of many of the people in the overcrowded boat, float on the surface of the river. A couple of men must use their oars to push these islands of ice out of the way so that the boat can move forward, so that the Colonists can surprise the English and Hessians and win the Battle of Trenton. It is Wednesday, almost 69 degrees where I live in New Mexico. On Wednesdays, I don’t cross rivers, not even the Rio Grande, which is a mile away and mostly dry this time of year. It’s the Christmas season here too. I’ve been looking in an art book, viewing all these paintings with water in them-slots of seaside scenes, picnics along the river, lovers caught in a rain shower, couples silhouetted against the ocean or dangling their legs in a pond. Today, I crossed the Delaware River. I could drown on a Wednesday afternoon and never leave my study.

Wayne Crawford was a poet and promoter of poetry in Las Cruces for many years until his death in 2011.  He worked to bring young poets and older poets together and was encouraging to all.  I feel that I made significant advances in my work due to the confidence I gained from his enthusiasm and support.

This prose poem, “George Washington Crossing the Delaware,” is from Wayne’s last book, Sugar Trail, published by Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Press in 2007.  It is available on amazon.com