Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mikaela's Book(s)...Yes, you heard me right!

marjorie says...

While I'm at it, I also want to give a huge Shout Out to Mikaela who just this year became officially found on Not once, but twice. Working with an impressive group of collaborators, Mikaela has edited two books published by UNM Press that show-case some of the fabulous writers in Albuquerque.

¿de Veras? Young Voices from the National Hispanic Cultural Center comes out of the summer creative writing class Mikaela has taught and mentored for many years at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The class combines a couple of Mikaela's loves: teaching and young people. And this book highlights some of the incredible youth voices that have come out of the program. Here's how it's described on the UNM Press page:

"For one month each year, the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque brings together New Mexico teens for a creative writing program that immerses them in a process of reflection and creativity while encouraging them to explore their identity as people, as a culture, as a region, and as a society. These students unite their varied experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs to form a supportive community of respect through conversation and writing. ¿de Veras? features a collection of poems, essays, and stories written in the Voces program between 2002 and 2006 that represent the diversity of perspectives and individuality of voices of the young creators. These writings reflect the authors' courage to examine their lives, their neighborhoods, their families, and their cultures. What emerges is their amazingly perceptive, sometimes damning, yet always-honest insights."

A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene stems from the vibrant Slam community here, which hosted the national slam tournament in 2005 (and our team won the title that year while they were at it). As we've noted before, while she doesn't slam, Mikaela writes beautiful poetry. On occasion she shares it with us here on m-pyre. She's one of the people who work hard behind the scenes on behalf of Albuquerque poets (This is one of the reasons I don't really think the scene here is an unlikely success. All of these folks really love poetry and it shows). From the UNM Press page:

"A Bigger Boat chronicles the Albuquerque Slam Poetry scene's growth and success at the 2005 National Poetry Slam competition, which it hosted and won. This collection of poems and personal memories explores Slam from the voices of the poets who began developing the Albuquerque scene in 1990 to poets who witnessed and celebrated the 2005 hometown victory.

"Despite Slam's big city origins and arguments that smaller urban areas could not garner enough community interest to host national events, the Albuquerque event proved skeptics wrong. The swell of excitement so exceeded expectations that Danny Solis urged fellow organizers, "We need a bigger boat!"

"The editors of A Bigger Boat gathered the works of well-known local and national poets to provide a window into the world of competitive poetry, where verse meets performance."

Congratulations Mikaela...your work is always inspiring!

¿de Veras?
is in hand on Forrester Street, and there's a reception planned for May 4th. At the NHCC, Mikaela?

A Bigger Boat is due late April, and a reception is planned at the Harwood Art Center on April 27, 11:30-1:00.