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As if developing our plans for the 2015 Southwest Festival of the Written Word (Friday-Sunday October 2-4,  2015), wasn’t keeping us busy enough,  we decided it was important to provide events to support reading and writing, prior to the 2015 Festival.

What were we thinking?  That this would be a good thing!  And to that end, we are presenting a weekend for the enjoyment of writers and readers of poetry and of prose, including  evening presentations open to the public free of charge, and writing workshops on Saturday for which the costs vary.

This blog entry highlights the Evening Events that offer insight into the life of a poet (REFLECTIONS OF AN ARTIST) and the opportunity to listen to authors of poetry and prose read from their own works.  (AN EVENING WITH STARS OF POETRY AND PROSE)

To find out more about the writing workshops, click here  The Scalpel and the Thread and here Soup to Nuts and Speed Date with a Publisher


Denise Low


with Denise Low

former Kansas Poet Laureate and co-publisher of Mammoth Publications

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:00pm

WNMU Parotti Hall, attached to the Fine Arts Theatre

Open to the Public free of charge

Co-sponsored by Western Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL)

“Mélange” is a geologist’s term for varied rocks jumbled together within the earth’s crust. Denise Low explores the cultural geography applications of this term in this artist’s lecture about her recent book of poetry Mélange Block.

Included are connections to Sonoma County Wine Country, the Springerville Volcanic Field, and sedimentary expanses of the Great Plains.  She shows how and where her writings parallel the landscape paintings of Per Kirkeby (Danish), Paul Hotvedt, and others. Black Mountain poets who inspire her deep geology are Charles Olson, Kenneth Irby, and Ed Dorn.

Also, part of the physical mixture is the diversity of  bloodlines in her family—Algonquin, Cherokee, British Isles, and German.  For yet a different type of blending, she explores how previous histories of landscape can influence narratives of present-day people.

Finally, she returns to geologic processes to illustrate how they are models for her verse forms. Rather than sonnets or haiku, she structures poems as Aggregates, Crystal cleavages, Dendritic branching, Magma flow, and more.   Always, fire burns in realms of both human passion and underground reservoirs of magma.

Denise has published 25 books including: Melange Block; Ghost Stories; and, Natural Theologies:Essays. She currently teaches literature at Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. She conducts workshops that include revision techniques, historic voices, ekphrastic (image and text) poetry and natural laws of poetry.  Visit Denise’s website at




Readings and signings 

novelist Mary Sojourner and poet Denise Low

and Silver City Poet Laureate Elise Stuart

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 7:00pm

614 N Bullard

Open to the Public free of charge


            Mary Sojourner                          Elise Stuart                                   Denise Low

           Mary Sojouner             Elise Stuart, Silver City Poet Laureate              Denise Low     





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.