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Four poets muse about nature at SOMOS

Event is part of National Poetry Month and Taos Environmental Film Festival

By Tempo staff
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 4/17/19

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) continues its monthlong series with an Earth Day poetry reading organized by Taos Environmental …

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Books

Four poets muse about nature at SOMOS

Event is part of National Poetry Month and Taos Environmental Film Festival

Posted

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) continues its monthlong series with an Earth Day poetry reading organized by Taos Environmental Film Festival.

This special reading will be given Monday (April 22) at 7 p.m. at SOMOS, 108 Civic Plaza Drive in downtown Taos. Admission is free, though donations will be greatly appreciated.

Featured poets are Olivia Romo, Anne MacNaughton, Will Barnes and Alexandra Grajeda.

Romo is a farmer, poet and water rights activist from Taos. She is the communications and outreach coordinator at the New Mexico Acequia Association, a grassroots, statewide organization that defends water rights and cultivates an intergenerational movement to protect water resources and educate people about the various aspects of acequia systems.

Romo is a recognized spoken word artist. In 2011, she was titled the New Mexico State Slam Poetry Champion. She is a bilingual poet whose language is immersed in the regional Manito dialect and culture of Northern New Mexico. Her focus is on activism and poetry "to educate and mobilize New Mexicans around the risks and uncertainties of their natural resources," a press release states.

She was featured in the Western Folklife Center's poem-film series.

MacNaughton originated Taos High School's award-winning Poetry Slam Team -- the first one in the nation specifically for teenagers -- and established the very first State Championship Poetry Slam for secondary students.

She continues to work with youth through workshops and mentorships. Along with the late poet Peter Rabbit and eight others, she co-founded SOMOS, the Taos Poetry Circus and the Poetry Education Project, later creating the spinoff nonprofits Minor Heron and The World Poetry Bout Association.

She still produces poetry shows through Lucid Performance, a company she started with Rabbit (lucidperformance.com). MacNaughton's work has been published in many journals, anthologies, magazines and periodicals.

Barnes was raised in Colorado and has lived in New Mexico for 24 years. He is an ecologist and botanist, and teaches middle school language arts and science in Santa Fe. In 1998 and 1999, he was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize while studying for his masters in biology at the University of New Mexico.

He has recent poems in CutBank review and published his first book of poems, "The Ledgerbook," with 3: A Taos Press.

Drawing from the indigenous traditions of record keeping on the Western plains -- winter count, ledger art, diary making, letter writing, scientific description and journalism -- "The Ledgerbook" takes the motif of "writing over and on top of the stories and texts that make up the history of the American West to write its own story of identity and the experience of dissolution," a press release explains.

Grajeda has been studying herbal medicine for eight years, with a particular interest in women's health. Incorporated in her practice are goddess studies, community herbalism from Moondance Botanicals, midwifery studies, birth-assistant trainings, traditional Mexhika healing and medicine practices, Western European herbal knowledge, prenatal yoga and Southwest herbal knowledge.

She is an apprentice with Kalpulli Teocalli Ollin, studying curanderismo with C.C. Nava.

For more information, call SOMOS at (575) 758-0081 or visit www.somostaos.com.

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