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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bards of a feather: Poets flock to New Mexico

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Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 6:00 pm | Updated: 5:27 am, Wed Jan 15, 2014.

Nov. 3, 2013, was a big day in Santa Fe poetry circles. Five highly regarded poets from New York City and California were in town to read at Teatro Paraguas Studio as part of a national tour. It wasn’t the only poetry event happening that day: Jane Lipman — a local poet and winner of the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in poetry — was leading a daylong workshop; former poet laureate Arthur Sze was reading at Collected Works Bookstore; and Red Mountain Press and the New Mexico State Poetry Society were co-hosting an afternoon-long gathering to support an initiative to establish a New Mexico poet laureate.

Such scheduling logjams are not uncommon. The Santa Fe Poetry and Prose Meetup Group (www.meetup.com/Santa-Fe-Poetry-and-Prose-Meetup-Group), which boasts 464 members, publicized some 270 events last year, and numerous other poetry-related readings, workshops, signings, gatherings, and other events weren’t even listed on the site. In a 2011 posting, the now-inactive blog Santa Fe Literary News (www.sfliterarynews.blogspot.com) proclaimed Santa Fe “the writing capital of the United States — there are more writers per capita here than any other city in the nation.” Regardless of whether that claim can be substantiated, there’s no arguing that Santa Fe is something of a poets’ paradise, with far more than its share of published poets, publishing houses, events, projects, and educational offerings.

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