The Muse of the Southwest Showcases 19 Regional Authors

By Janet Webb | January 10, 2014

SOMOS, aka, The Society of the Muse of the Southwest and The Literary Society of Taos— my current favorite arts organization in this town and on whose board of directors I sit (Whew!)— is launching its annual Winter Writers Series on January 15, 2014.

These readings reveal what a rich and creative community this is. Most of the poets and writers are from Taos or neighboring communities. There are a few writers from elsewhere and they come here out of love and respect for this place, not for a huge honorarium.

Natachee MomadayAnother wonderful thing about this series is that youth are welcomed to attend free of charge (we grown-ups pay $8 or $6, the lower being the SOMOS and Harwood Museum member price).  This free admission augments SOMOS’s Young Writer Mentorship Program that happens each year, January through May in the high schools.

Here is the schedule. All readings are at 7:00pm and are in the Arthur Bell Auditorium in the Harwood Museum, unless noted otherwise.

Catherine StrisikJanuary 15
Poets Catherine Strisik (Taos), Natachee Momaday (Santa Fe), and Lauren Camp (Santa Fe)

January 22
Theatrical reading of “Gertrude Stein and a Companion” by Win Wells with Judith Rane and Judith Kendall (both from Taos)

January 29
Historian Joyce Appleby (professor emeritus from UCLA) and Memoirist Steven Fox (Taos)

February 5
Memoirists Emily Rapp (California) and Nancy Saltzman (Colorado)

Lauren CampFebruary 7
Special Fireside Chat with former CIA agent Valerie Plame (now a Santa Fe resident) about her new novel, Blowback. Q&A follows.
At the Mabel Dodge Luhan Home

February 12
Ramona Ausubel (Santa Fe), Melissa White (Santa Fe), and Lorraine Ciancio (Taos)

February 19
Hakim Bellamy (Albuquerque) and Young Taos Writers and Poets

February 26
Taos writers Christine Sherwood, Eileen Wiard, Hannah Rappaport, Phaedra Greenwood, and Bill Whaley. At the SOMOS Salon

To whet your appetite, here’s an unpublished poem from a manuscript-in-progress by Taoseña Catherine Strisek, co-editor of the Taos Journal Of Poetry, who will be reading at the opening event on January 15:


The bear sniffs late
autumn. Heavy wet silent
Brazil nut.

He shat the river’s
last green and purple.
Bear sound at the freezing point−

I love you
the bear blows out, oily
in nature. I hear my own flat chord

as I crawl into his inhalation. You
moonless bear, the valley’s kiss. Open
mouthed. Hungry.

Learn more about SOMOS online.


Pictured: Poets Natachee Momaday, Catherine Strisik, and Lauren Camp

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