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The Saturday, May 19, 2018 Just Words event at the Tranquilbuzz Coffee House (112 W Yankie St.) will feature Virginia poet Mary Wescott and Silver City author Julia Fricke Robinson. Open mic will follow their performance. That means your poems, stories, observations. The event starts at 2:00 p.m.

Mary Wescott has been writing poetry since she was in first grade. She has a BA in English and Philosophy from Georgetown University and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. She took 30 years off from writing poetry to teach school, beginning in 1987, and she retired last June. During her independent school career in Virginia, where she was known as Mrs. Riser, she taught English to students in grades 5-12; she was English Dept. Chair at the Blue Ridge School for Boys (1987-1992); she was Middle School Director at St. Anne’-Belfield School (1992-2007); and she was most recently Head of School at James River Day School (2007-2017). Now that she has put down her “Mrs. Riser disguise,” she is back to writing poems.

Wescott’s words sketch reality with compelling beauty, for example:


I check myself to make sure I look OK.
I put my face the way I like to see it.

This isn’t really me.
I don’t know how I really look
or who I really am,
and no glass mirror can show me.

I want to look into the mirror
of your face to see
if I am kind,
to see if I am really me.


Julia Fricke Robinson divides her time between visiting children and grandchildren in Colorado, Indiana and New York and living, dancing and writing in a community of artists, writers, performers, activists and otherwise interesting people in beautiful Silver City, New Mexico, where the weather is just about perfect.

Here is the title poem from her recently published memoir All I Know:

why I write

this is all I know
this pen moving across paper
swimming with no effort
one stroke after another
breathe in, breathe out
let the rhythm
carry the movement
feel the rush, the freedom
the pen across paper
it’s mine; it’s me


Open mic: Come read two or three poems or a few minutes of prose. Or read some favorite words by someone else you admire for us.

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

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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.