Wordstock was an event put together by New Mexico Literary Arts (no Web site). Their mission is "to inspire & develop the imaginative use of language and to create opportunites for the integration of literary arts with other artforms throughout New Mexico." They started as the Poetry Center of New Mexico, and in 1997 expanded their mission. Their focus is still undeniably poetry, and they put together an event yesterday bringing together small literary presses.

And they invited our comics group.

There was some discussion, if we would fit in, how our work would go over. But the organizer knows and has worked with some of our members, so we decided to go for it. Plus, it was free. Just needed to bring a dish to pass. We brought bars.

There were about 8-10 groups represented, ranging from small publishers to really small publishers (including an actual letterpress shop), two teen poetry groups, and then us. Turned out be a great time. Many interested folks stopped by to look at our stuff, we even made a few sales. They help, and we're really trying to get the word out since the grant we were wishing and hoping and praying for didn't come through.

There were readings from NMLA members, the Poetry Confessional (where I confessed my sin of not really having read any poetry since high school [and then it was all e e cummings] other than when I dug out In Plaster during the nine-month long stress fracture), readings from teen groups from Española and Taos, the "Haiku Hooha," and various open mike readings.

I especially enjoyed the teens. (There was a fundraising event the comics group put together in Española [Spaña] last weekend that we never quite got to blogging about, a moderate at best success as a fundraiser, but so, so much fun, and it featured a poetry slam from Mind Graffiti, the Spaña group.) Some of those kids are just naturals, and it's great just to see them perform. The Taos group was also pretty terrific and they did some poetry improv. Both groups are trying to put together some money to get out to NYC for a national poetry event.

The whole thing was held at Desert Academy, a middle school in town. Maybe a hundred-ish people were there over the course of the six-hour event. For the most part, people were interested in what we were doing (our door prize of a selection of the group's work was given back by its recipent, but that just meant it found its way to someone who wanted it). But everyone seemed to have a great time; a nice way to spend a cool autumn afteroon.


Day started out at the Farmers Market, which has now moved indoors to El Museo Cultural. The Market connects to the Museum, which still has some altars still set up from Day of the Dead. And it's right next door to Santa Fe Clay, which also still had its Day of the Dead exhibit up, with some truly marvelous pieces.

No comments: