Nov. 15 last day to nominate first New Mexico poet laureate

Senator Bill O’Neill (D-Bernalillo) sponsored 2019 legislation to create a New Mexico poet laureate program within the Department of Cultural Affairs, for which nominations are due Friday, Nov. 15. The poet laureate position was developed as a partnership between the New Mexico State Library and New Mexico Arts. “Poetry has been an essential part of our shared human history since the earliest of times,” Department of Cultural Affairs cabinet secretary Debra Garcia y Griego says in a news release. “The Department of Cultural Affairs honors the expressive nature of this art form, which has the power to entertain, encourage, enrich, and educate.” With this new position, New Mexico will no longer be one of a handful of states without a poet laureate. Among the perks of the position are a $25,000 yearly stipend, travel and printing expenses, and part-time staff support. According to a news release, the poet laureate will support literacy and education by promoting arts enrichment throughout the state. Nomination forms are available at

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival announces award winners

Lost Bayou, a film about a Catholic faith healer and his daughter, received the juried award for Best Narrative Feature at the 11th annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, which was held in October. The award for Best Documentary Feature went to Ernie & Joe, which follows two Texas law enforcement officers and their efforts to change the way police respond to mental health calls. The Short History of the Long Road won for Best New Mexico Narrative Feature; the movie is about an orphaned teenage girl looking for family. Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You was named Best New Mexico Documentary Feature for its portrayal of a nonbinary, transgender auto mechanic and motorcycle enthusiast from Albuquerque. The Best International Narrative Short was the dystopian film Utopia, from Greece. A complete list of award-winning short films and audience-choice selections is at

New Native American book series to launch in 2021

Graphic novels and graphic nonfiction are the focus of Red Planet Books, a new co-publishing partnership between University of New Mexico Press ( and Albuquerque-based Red Planet Books and Comics ( Slated to launch in the spring of 2021, the venture will produce a series of books featuring Native American writers and illustrators. In a news release, Stephen Hull, the director of UNM Press, says it will be a “laboratory for cutting edge, creative work” that bears on the indigenous experience. The first work in the series is Memorial Ride, by Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones.

Local musician releases genre-crossing new album

Raunchytonk, a new album by New Mexico musician Kyle Martin, came out in September. It is Martin’s fourth album of original work since 2014. In a news release, the album is described as “reminiscent of the honky-tonk vibe country music fans often long to bring back, as well as a dose of Southern rock.” Raunchytonk is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify. Sample Martin’s songs and find tour dates at

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to conserve Spring

Cracks, flaking paint, and darkening surface stains on the 1948 Georgia O’Keeffe painting Spring will be fixed thanks to a Bank of America Art Conservation Project grant awarded to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. O’Keeffe completed the 7-by-4-foot oil painting two years after the death of her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. It was the largest landscape she’d painted to date and includes some quintessential New Mexico imagery, including antlers and a mountaintop. The Bank of America grant will support research and conservation of the painting, as well as the sharing of the process online and via public programs. Spring is one of 22 major art restoration projects from nine countries and 12 U.S. cities being funded by the bank’s Art Conservation Project in 2019; 505-946-1000,

Institute of American Indian Arts announces first research fellowship

As the recipient of the first Scholarly Fellowship at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Laura Marshall Clark is researching IAIA’s impact on Native Americans from Oklahoma who attended, taught, and worked at the Santa Fe institution. “While works exist about the history of IAIA, and similarly, art history and art criticism document the work of many of these Oklahoma artists, nothing has been produced that collectively examines their journeys on the IAIA ‘Santa Fe trail,’ nor explores as a whole their reciprocal sway on the direction of IAIA and/or Native art,” Clark tells Pasatiempo. Clark lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, and is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She holds a master of arts in Native American studies from the University of Oklahoma. Clark’s fellowship runs from October through December, during which time she will participate in public presentations and classroom lectures. The fellowship is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; 505-424-2325,

New true-crime podcast focuses on New Mexico

On Oct. 28, Eric Carter-Landin launched True Consequences, a podcast about unsolved murders and other crimes in the Land of Enchantment. Carter-Landin was born and raised in Socorro, New Mexico, and was 5 years old when his brother was murdered in 1985. His killer was never prosecuted, and now Carter-Landin hopes to bring awareness to other unsolved cases. The first four episodes are “The Toybox Killer,” “Aliens in Taos,” “Unsolved Cotton and Judy McKnight,” and “Survivor Story: Cynthia Vigil Jaramillo”; or iTunes.

Santa Fe museums closed on Mondays for the season

Four New Mexico museums are closed on Mondays through the winter. The New Mexico Museum of Art, New Mexico History Museum, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and Museum of International Folk Art — as well as the Museum Hill Café — resume regular schedules on May 4. Winter hours for the museums are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays;

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