A Brighter Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hello Dear Poets and Readers,

Great news regarding the anthology! Though the undertaking has taken longer than anticipated, thanks largely to juggling work, writing, school, teaching, scheduling readings, and mentoring young writers while editing this massive project, a lot has been accomplished these past few months and I am happy to report that the manuscript for  200 New Mexico Poems is now in one piece. After careful consideration and lots of reading, rereading (and looking at other anthologies) I have reordered the poems from the collection into the following nine chapters: Origins, Enchantment, Essence, Interstices,  El Barrio, Legend, Pilgrimage, Reverence, and Duende. The chapters are relatively short – approximately chapbook size – to encourage reading a full chapter in one sitting.  Also, I wanted to distribute poems with overt commonalities in a diverse and, I hope, creative manner.

In addition, all excerpted poems have been restored full length and  line spacing has been maintained except in cases when a poem runs over, by a line, onto the next page because of unconventional line spacing. Author names are centered and are followed by the poem title. The current draft contains 267 pages and includes a preface, space for the introduction, acknowledgements, biographies, and notes.

Another piece of good news is that our Centennial Poet, Levi Romero, has agreed to write an introduction for the collection and is looking over the MS as I compose this blog. Once his introduction is complete, I will add it to the manuscript and send it to UNM Press. Contributors can expect a PDF copy in their emails in the next week or so for a look at the full manuscript and for a final chance to make minor corrections before the collections is published.

In the mean time here is a brief a recap and timeline of the project:


December, 2011: Tom Averill, fiction professor from my undergraduate school, Washburn University, plants a seed.


January 2: Send email to, and receive blessing from, Kansas Poet Laureate, Caryn-Mirriam Goldberg, regarding starting a New Mexico Project emulating 150 Kansas Poems

January 5: Create WordPress site and send out a call for submissions 

January 6: Official date of New Mexico’s Centennial

January 16, 2012: First poem, Matachine el Rancho 1.11.11 by Santa Fe Poet Laureate, Joan Logghe, posted.

January: Propasal for endorsement sent to New Mexico Centennial Committee

February: Lay awake nights wondering what I got myself into/continue selecting and posting poems

March 11: Project receives endorsement from the New Mexico Centennial Committee

Late September: Send print anthology propoasl to UNM Press/Proposal accepted

Early October: Begin sending release forms to contributors

(November: National Novel Writing Month, Young Writers Program, Southwest Secondary Learning Center)

December 21: Last poem, I Breathe the Cottonwood by Centennial Poet, Levi Romero, posted.

December: Begin transferring poems to word document(s)/create spreadsheets for tracking releases etc.


January 6th: Apply for New Mexico Press Women’s Communications Award/continue working on Word documents and spreadsheets

January 23: Intern, Alexandra K.M., comes on board

(February: NaNoWriMo YWP “What Now?” editing month, SSLC)

February 20: First 200 New Mexico Poems reading at UNM Valencia Campus, Las Lunas facilitated by Patricia Gilikin

February 26: Second 200 New Mexico Poems reading at Erna Fergusson Library, Abluquerque

April 6: Reading at Belen Public Library, Belen

April: Chapters determined and poems reordered.

April 25: Red Shoes Award ceremony (for contributions to the literary community)

April 26: New Mexico State Poetry Society Fundraising Event

April 27: New Mexico Press Women’s Awards Banquet/200 New Mexico Poems receives second place in Communications/Blogs category

April 30: Acknowledgements pages sent to contributors/begin acquiring permission from presses of previously published poems

Early May: Levi Romero agrees to write introduction to 200 New Mexico Poems

May 19: Reading at The Performance Space, El Dorado (taped)

May 21: Last contributor release received

(May 30 to June 9: Attend first MFA residency at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C.)

June 30: Manuscript due to UNM Press (where it will be peer-reviewed for approval)

Projected Publication Date (provided the anthology is approved): Spring 2014

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9 thoughts on “A Brighter Light at the End of the Tunnel

  1. kiwiharley says:

    This is so exciting. Thanks for all you’ve done to bring this project to fruition.


  2. Janet Eigner says:

    As my grandson, Enrique, at age three said to me, “Gramma Jan, did the robot (his interpretation of rabbi) say mazeltoffy?” I say, Lisa, MAZELTOFFY TO YOU!!! What a work of persistence, dedication, creativity and community. So many thanks.

    Janet Eigner

  3. Michelle Holland says:

    Wow!! You are incredibly organized to put together the timeline. Wonderful to see the development of the project laid out so thoroughly. Great job!

  4. What great work you’ve done, Lisa. It’s exciting to see that it is coming together.

  5. Lisa, HUGE thank you for all the tremendous work our behalf. You are greatly appreciated!

  6. Lori Romero says:

    This is so awesome, Lisa! Thank you so much for this – what a gift and I’m so glad to see the latest news!

  7. Georgia Santa Maria says:

    Thank You so much for all of your hard work! This is a wonderful collection of poetry, which will be treasured for many years to come. I am truly honored to be included in such marvelous work of so many wonderful writers. You have created a new piece of history for the next 100 years.

  8. M. Kaat Toy says:

    Thank you, Lisa. What an amazing amount of dedication and work. I am honored to be part of this.
    M. Kaat Toy

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