Friday, April 21, 2006

Harwood Anthology Reception

Mikaela says.
So, we at m-pyre believe in community. That should not be news to anyone who knows us or our blog(s). [The fact that we have multiple communal blogs is perhaps the most obvious proof.]

I found myself yesterday trying to explain why I feel so motivated to give back-bending amounts of time to helping organize poetry events that I'm not actually part of.

My answer surprised me, although it should not have:
because poets have a sense of community like the best communities have.

A couple weeks ago, I found myself trying to explain why I felt completely comfortable -- in fact entitled -- to stay for a week at a complete stranger's house in Boston (thanks, Eric! and Adam, who brokered the connection!). No, I'd never met him. Yes, it was fine. Why? Because we're poets. And that's what poets do. We travel. We're broke. We stay with poets. In return, we open our doors and our arms to traveling poets in return. That's the code.

It may surprise many people to hear that poets are organized. Slam poets, anyway. It's true! We're hardly ever on time, broke almost always, but we know how to network, share resources, and leverage support. Like most communities with limited resources, we have to in order to survive and thrive! Isn't that what community-building is all about? We compete and fight amongst ourselves like any good family, but when it's all said and done, we love the same things and give our lives to this strange pursuit for a reason.

So I find myself in this awkward position of promoting an event that I'm involved in not only as a worker, but as an artist. Very strange feeling, indeed.

The Harwood Art Center, the mothership of the spoken word poetry community in Albuquerque (along with all the other AMAZING community-building activities it spearheads and supports), outdid itself with this year's Harwood Poetry Anthology, featuring both celebrated and underground poets in and around Albuquerque.

And tonight's the party to announce its birth. Yes, I helped jury the entries. Yes, I'm in the book. Yes, that makes me squeamish and squirmy and embarrassed. I never said I was a performance poet (who thrive on acclaim and of course the spotlight); I'm a behind the scenes kinda gal. That's just the way I'm built. I like supporting community; I like buildinging community; and I dislike being singled out of the crowd.

This one time, I'm proud to stand with fellow poets to share and bask in a great accomplishment and a testament to Albuquerque's writing artistry. It helps that my own little poem already saw light of day here on m-pyre. And no, I won't post the link, you have to go search for it yourself! Better yet, just stop by this evening to witness & join a little poetry community celebration.

Friday, April 21, 5-8:30pm

Reading begins at 6pm!

Where: Harwood Art Center's
Poets' Plaza

1114 Seventh St NW (at Mountain Rd)