Where In The World Is Lorna? Dreaming Big in Albuquerque, Well Awarded In Austin, Savoring San Antonio, Speaking For the Dead of Texas, and Home Again
The first Albuquerque Cultural Conference, "Dreaming Big: Cultural Activism, Writing, Education and the Arts in the New Century," will be held Labor Day Weekend, September 1-September 3, at the Harwood Art Center. The conference will be preceded by a major poetry reading on Friday night, August 31 and will include panels, workshops, and evening events over the weekend, with a final panel and plenary session Monday morning. There will be a weekend book and arts fair as well.
Sponsor of the conference is West End Press; co-sponsors include the Peace and Justice Center and Acequia Books. The event is supported by a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council. The conference organizer is Leslie Fishburn Clark.
The Friday reading will begin at 7 p.m. at Harwood Center. The present list of readers includes Anya Achtenberg, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Renny Golden, Linda Hogan, E. A. Mares, Demetria Martinez, Cherrie Moraga, Sara Ortiz, Margaret Randall, Levi Romero, and a group of slam poets. Recommended donation is $10. The reading will be recorded.
Panels and workshops will include such subjects as teaching and writing for survival; Southwest culture and society; cultural memory; regional activism; alternative journalism, publication, digital communication, and radio; creating a peoples' almanac; and poets and artists for peace and justice. A final panel will take up "Politics, Culture, and the New: New Forms to Meet New Challenges."
Invited guests include Anya Achtenberg, Minnesota author; Lorna Dee Cervantes, California poet; Renny Golden, Chicago author and teacher; Linda Hogan, Colorado author; Cherrie Moraga, California teacher and playwright; and Kimberly Nightingale, editor of the St. Paul Almanac. Writers, teachers and activists from over a dozen states plan to attend.
The Saturday evening event is dedicated to the memory of Terri Anderson, a southwest poet who died prematurely of cancer last year. Many of her friends met with her on Labor Day three years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this conference, West End Press and Street Sweeper Press will announce co-publication of her selected poems at the end of the year. Friends will read from Terri's poetry.
According to John Crawford, publisher of West End Press, "The conference is intended to open up new perspectives and possibilities: for teaching and writing, for the creation of an Albuquerque Almanac, for consideration of the artistic forms we have at our disposal, for celebration of cultural memory, and for strategic engagement with the future in this most fragile and fraught of centuries-the only one we have to work with."
For more information, contact the Albuquerque cultural conference website at www.abqculturalconference.org or e-mail us at ABQconference2007@yahoo.com. We will be happy to send you a full description of the event with registration information.
Sept. 13th, I'll be at Austin Community College accepting my award for Outstanding Book of Poetry in 2006 and reading at 4pm. Then, I'm off to San Antonio's Esperanza Center for a reading/performance on the 14th. Then back to Austin to participate in the opening of the new Mexican American Cultural Center where I've been asked to speak for the dead. (always)
Then, I'm back home (without the quotations marks) in the Mission, San Francisco, Aztlan. Come see me! I'll be teaching a Chicana/Latinas On the Borderlands history course at San Francisco State University on mondays and wednesdays - and packing and unpacking. Get ready for a future announcement. Lorna Dee is on the move and the hummingbird has landed!
Dream on. Dream big. Poetry On!