Poet News

Congratulations to Joy Harjo, recipient of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for “outstanding lifetime achievement.”

Joy Harjo is awarded the prize in recognition of her contribution to poetry.

Read more at the Poetry Foundation


Tupelo Truchas Poetry Conference

Our very own 200 New Mexico poet, Lauren Camp, will be facilitating a workshop at this year’s conference. Here are a few details and a link for registration:

The Tupelo Truchas Poetry Conference is a writer’s retreat at Truchas Peaks Place in Truchas, New Mexico, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Taos and Sante Fe. Truchas Peaks Place offers workshop participants a spacious adobe-style hacienda, panoramic views, astonishing 12,000-book library, sumptuous decor and cuisine.  (http://www.truchaspeaksplace.com)

June 2-5, 2017



truchas+golden+moments+17We know the value of sustained conversations that can build meaningful professional and artistic relationships. Jeffrey Levine, Tupelo Press Editor-in-Chief, will be present from the moment you are greeted before dinner on Friday through the farewell breakfast on Monday. Levine will be joined by prize-winning poets Lauren Camp, Maggie Smith, and Veronica Golos, who will likewise be present and available throughout (see bios below).

Before and after the working sessions all three faculty are available to talk with about your concerns as writers: about etymology or the “poe biz” or which presses are right for you, and more. By the end of the retreat you will have a set of new tools for writing, revision and submission to take home from Truchas and apply to your writing life.

Santa Fe Reporter’s Spring Poetry Search 2017 Winners

A belated congratulations to this year’s poets:

1st Place – “Whiskey and Blood: By Caleb Thompson
2nd Place – “The Fox” By Ioanna Carlsen (a 200 New Mexico Poet)
3rd Place – “Night Yard” By Barbara Rockman (a 200 New Mexico Poet)

Honorable Mention:

“The Definition of Tragedy” By Robert Wilder
“Lungs of the Earth” By Gabe Gomez

SFR Staff Picks:

“Letter to an Amateur Anthropologist” By Margaret Wack
“Cabresto” By Andrew John Wilder
“An Alternate Rout” by Miles Merritt

Read their poems on the Santa Fe Reporter website.

Barbara Rockman is author of 200 New Mexico poem #27, “Insomnia, Avineda de San Marcos.”

Iona Carlsen is the author of 200 New Mexico poem #142,  The Southwest Part of the Truth

Special event for authors who live in southern New Mexico

Special event for authors who live in southern New Mexico

A public library in southern New Mexico is planning a special Authors Event this fall just for authors who reside in southern NM. It will be an opportunity to meet and greet people and to sell you books. All genre are welcome. If you are interested email the following:

Where you Live
Type/genre of books:
Phone Number:

Email this info to LPDPress@q.com no later than Friday May 12. We will pas the list of those interested on to the library organizers and they will contact you with more information.

#200 I Breathe the Cottonwood by New Mexico Centennial Poet, Levi Romero

I take the sage brush scent in
The folding hills
The heat of the asphalt
Twenty-seven minutes past noon

Past the historic marker
And the twisted metal road sign
The yellow apple dotted orchards
The alfalfa

I take it all in

For you my brothers
And sisters
Lying on rubber mattresses
In your jail pods
Finger-nailing the names
Of your loved ones
On styrofoam cups

The cactus flower puckers
Its sweet magnolia lips
For you today
Its prickly arms stretching
Up toward the clouds and the sky

Las mesas, los arroyitos,
Los barrancos, el Río Grande
La urraca, el cuervo
The cigarette butt pinched
And yellowed, the crunched
Beer cans on the roadside

I take it all in

Past the presa and the remanse
The swimming hole
Where you frolicked in the water
With your first crush
Her hair wet and pasted
Against the slant of her forehead
Her bare shoulders glistening
con l’agua bendita

Throughout the genizaro valle
Las milpas de maíz
Are lined in processions
Their powdery tassels
Swaying back and forth
Like pueblo feast day dancers
Atrás, adelante, atrás, adelante
Heya, heya, heya, ha

Past the ancient flat roofed houses
Like loaves of bread and their
Backyard hornos with their black
Toothless mouths yawning
The acequias’ lazy gurgle
The tortolita’s mid-afternoon murmur
The cleansing cota flower
Los chapulines, las chicharras
El garambullo, el capulín

For you, my brothers and sisters
The willow, the mud puddles
Reflecting brown the earth’s skin

I take it all in

#199 Memoria Desmemoriada/Forgetful Memory by Juan Estevan Arellano

La memoria se me está acabando
No sólo a mi, sino también a la tierra,
El caballo alazán tostado ya no sabe como trabajar
Ni conoce el arado, menos la jaida o la escardina

Hace un siglo que’l caballo era el mejor amigo del hombre
Le ayudaba a traer leña de la Cejita, siguiendo todo el arroyo de la plaza
Con el caballo se divertía el hombre corriendo en la pareja,
Al chueco y al gallo por las fiestas

Los hombres eran furnidos, fuertes y trabajaban de sol a sol
Y las mujeres no solo criaban las familias pero atendían las milpas y huertas de chile
Por el invierno vivían de los tasajos de calabazas y melones mexicanas
Las perchas se veían desde lejos colmadas de cecinas de vaca y borrega

Las acequias surtían a la comunidad de agua para regar los sembrados
De ahí también bebía agua la gente tanto como los animales,
Y las mujers usaban su agua para la lavar la ropa,
Sus bordos eran los caminos de la comunidad, un complejo de redes
Que hoy en día ya desaparecieron, la memoria ya se borró,
Igual que se borraron los surcos y las besanas

Los montes mejor se queman que dejar a la gente cosecharlos
Ya no sabemos cuales hierbas nos sanan y cuales nos enferman
Nos podemos morir de hambre rodeados de hierbas que se comen
Y morirnos de sed parados arriba del agua

Qué triste cuando una persona pierde su memoria,
Pero más triste es cuando la sociedad se le olvida de donde vino,
Y peor tristeza cuando la tierra pierde su habilidad de producir
Y las semillas ya no saben cuando reventar, ya se les olvidó
Por no ser nativas de esta tierra.

Que tristeza me da que en un siglo se fue la memoria
La tierra ya no produce, se volvió rala
Las acequias ya no corren, sucia está el agua en lugar de cristalina
Nuestra lengua ya no se escucha, nuestros hijos della se averguenzan.

Forgetful Memory

My memory is starting to fade
Not only mine, but also the earth’s
The sorrel roasted colored horse no longer knows how to work
He doesn’t recognize the plow, neither the sod-buster, much less the tiller

A century ago the horse was man’s best friend
He helped bring firewood from the brow of the mountain, following the Plaza arroyo
With the horse, man used him to recreate on the horse race site
Playing horse hockey and pulling the rooster

Men were robust, strong and worked from sun up to sun down
And women not only tended to their families, they also took care of the corn and chile plots
During the winter they lived off the dried squash and Mexican melons
The clothes line could be seen from a distance full of beef and lamb jerky

The acequias fed the communities with water to irrigate their fields
From there they also drank water both people and animals
Women used its water to wash their clothes
Their banks were the community roads, a complex of mazes
Today they have disappeared, the memory has faded
The same as the farrows and rows have disappeared

The mountains burn instead of allowing people to harvest them
We no longer know which plants heal us and which make us sick
We can die of hunger surrounded by edible plants
And die of thirst while standing on top of water

How sad when a person loses their memory
But it’s worse when society forgets its origins
And worse when the earth loses its ability to produce
And the seeds don’t know when to sprout, they already forgot
Since they are not native to this land

I feel sad that within a century our memory disappeared
The land no longer produces, it became very thin
The acequias no longer run, the water is dirty instead of crystalline
Our language is no longer spoken, our sons are ashamed

Juan Estevan Arellano – Journalist, writer, researcher; a graduate of New Mexico State University and a Fellow of the Washington Journalism Center. He was a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture.

#198 Taos Summer of Love [excerpt] by Cathy Arellano

josie g.,
whose name you could find on any wall in the mission
in front of, behind, beneath, or on top of my sister’s,
lisa a.
and always with a big fat
told us of her daddy’s homeland:
24th and Mission is cool
san jo’s got it going on with Story and King
and there ain’t nothing wrong with East Los
but Española, New Mexico
that’s The Lowrider Capital of the WORLD!

The world?

The world!

Fer realz?

she maddogged us.
we raised our underage hands
with overage drinks
to those chicanos
who gave lowriding
a capital!

after my first and last party
with my sister and her homegirls
cops killed mission street cruising
no left turns 9 pm to 4 am
you got a broken tail light
expired registration
pull over

our dreams
if we had any
crashed into jail and drugs,
we got pregnant
we dropped out

Cathy Arellano writes about growing up brown, coming out queer, and living as true as she can which is kinda crooked. Her poetry and prose collection Salvation on 24th Street will be published in 2013. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. Contact her at carellanopoet@yahoo.com.

#197 Solstice Communion by Bonnie Buckley Maldonado

Voices bless a winter flower
of red and gold,
of chile and corn;
worn hands pass the first tamales
from the dented roaster.

Communion wine is New Mexican,
red as sangre.
Masa is the bread of life.

Days of solstice preparation,
corn hand-ground,
red chile simmering,
and pork roasting.

Grandmothers’ memories
soften hojas and whip masa,
soft as sugar.

Masa on a fan of hoja,
red chile and meat in center.
Tamales carefully folded.
Organic origami.

They rest on chips of juniper,
an offering to Our Lady,
to the coming of the light.

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado has resided in Silver City, New Mexico since 1959.  Her work appears in the Willa Award Winning Anthology, Montana Women Writers: Geography of the Heart. She was named Willa Finalist in Poetry by Women Writing the West for It’s Only Raven Laughing, Fifty Years in the Southwest, 2010, her fourth book of poetry. She is Silver City’s poet laureate.

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