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Join us on Saturday, September 22, 2:00pm at the Tranquilbuzz Coffee House (112 W Yankie St.) for Just Words! Judith Michaels Safford and Mark Widrlechner will read from their work.


In 2006, Judith Michaels Safford discovered a radio program on writing poetry. She followed the prompts and mustered up the courage to press the send button. She was invited to read and a door was open that had not previously existed. She finds that her emotions express more easily through poetry. Judith self-published her memoir in 2009. Don’t Sell Your Soul, Memoir of a Guru Junkie. Encouraged by a published poet-friend, she embarked on self-publishing a book of prayer poems, Joyful Surrender, A pilgrimage. Judith continues to practice a 23-year career as a licensed massage therapist. Today her home is Glenwood, New Mexico, where artists of many kind reside. Touching others with hands and poems brings a tremendous satisfaction of purpose to her life.


A sample of Judith Michaels Safford’s poetry:


Each time we meet, I am more whole.

Each time we speak, I remember my purpose.

Each time we touch,

I am reminded that

I am entering the last years of

life in this human form and

still in spirit, a newborn.




Mark Widrlechner is a semi-retired horticulturist, who currently splits his time between Ames, Iowa and Silver City. Seven years ago, shortly before retiring, he unexpectedly began to write poetry after a very long hiatus. These verses are often inspired by the natural world and his practice of tai chi, yoga, and meditation. He loves to read aloud and share both his poems and those of others at public readings and in radio broadcasts.


Three collections of Mark’s poetry, This Wildest Year, A Short Geography of Remembrance, and A Fragrant Cloud Rose, are available as free e-books accessible through Iowa State University’s Parks Library at  He is currently working on crafting an extensive collection of centos, all in some way involving elk.


A sample of Mark Widrlechner’s poetry:


A Prehistory of Grant County

Is this the stuff of the fourth dream?
What ancient vision came to him that night?
His bull elk stretches forward alertly taking in
his entire world,
With ancestral signs suspended from the ends
of each of the final tines on his rack.
Off to the side, partly hidden in the woods,
a cow looks on, longingly…
ready to run.
Is this the stuff of the fourth dream?






Open mic will follow promptly after the featured artists!

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

Enriching Life Through Learning in Community

We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University is a traditional academic press that welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, children’s books, historical fiction, and academic books. We are particularly interested in academic work and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. We will also consider selective works of national and global significance.