Monday, November 28, 2011

Graduate Writing Awards--Dig It!

Congrats to everyone--the judges all complained about how hard this was!

The FRANK WATERS FICTION AWARD was judged this year by José de Piérola, the author of Sur y Norte (2008), a short story collection about immigrants at both sides of the border; El camino de regreso (2007), a novel that explores the years of political violence in Peru during the 1980s and 1990s; Shatranj: El juego de los reyes (2005), a novel published simultaneously in Colombia and Peru; and Un beso de invierno (2001), winner of the Short Novel Prize awarded by the Reserve Bank of Peru. He teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso.

For the Frank Waters Fiction Award, the winner is Phillip Hurst with “I Want You Back” from the novel The Castaways.José de Piérola states: “Written in a mature, precise voice, the opening chapter of this novel keeps a steady pace which increasingly reveals Ralph Harrison, the intriguing newspaperman born ‘too late for his own good.’ Towards the end of the chapter, we begin to understand why this Emerson-quoting newspaperman feels like an ‘exile.’ Hurst makes us want to keep reading, having already planted important questions about human relationships and personal identity in our mind.”

Melanie Sweeney Bowen was awarded Second Prize with “Old Habits.” The judge, José de Piérola comments, “This story, the precise rendering of a young man’s inability to cope with the loss of his best friend, unravels with a deft storyteller’s skill. Bowen carefully shows us that Tim’s mourning, even though he might not be completely aware of it, is also a process of growing up and entering adulthood. Bowen’s prose faces each moment with honesty, but selects only details that reveal her characters and explores her themes without forgetting her readers.”

Joshua Bowen was awarded Third Prize with “If I Should Cast Off This Tattered Coat.” José de Piérola observes that “With a title that evokes Gogol’s ‘The Overcoat,’ considered one of the foundational short-stories of the nineteenth century, this experimental short story challenges the reader to be an engaged, active participant that gradually ‘assembles’ the pieces of the puzzle, reaching to more than one possible interpretation. Bowen invites us to be part of the process in which, as Barthes would have put it, the work becomes text.”

Honorable Mention went to the following:

  • Christopher Rosenbluth, “The Time Before This”
  • Robert Mills, “The Youth and Beauty Brigade”
  • Camille Acker, “Who We Are”


THE KEITH WILSON/JOSEPH SAMOZA POETRY PRIZE was judged this year by poet Joni Wallace, author of Blinking Ephemeral Valentine, winner of the 2009 Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

The winner of the Keith Wilson/Joseph Samoza Poetry Prize is Nathan Taylor. Joni Wallace comments that “Taylor’s poems feel like private conversations, rich in language and obsession, a speaker whispering behind a door only slightly ajar. I cannot help but lean in to the keyhole or to put my ear against the drywall to hear it. And it’s worth the effort. Indeed, as Taylor himself says, these poems work as ‘wind in a silent shoebox.’ At others times, they seem ‘desire which chases desire’s tale.’ Filled with things and voices Americana (chocolate malts, cafeterias, road trips; ‘Godamnit do not lose that chicken’), endlessly questioning (‘They said Preston is dead, and did I, I did. /Yes, I think it was me. I.’), echoing and imitating their own beautiful sounds (‘heart of a horse’ immediately becoming it’s sound combination ‘hearse’), Taylor’s work addresses that state of being and not being simultaneously. Listen: ‘I can see myself leave myself/blue flux of desire going forward’ or ‘My trip across the country was fueled/ by the idea that when we arrived we would stuff/ our mouths with cigarettes and pour gin /into the empty sockets of our eyes. And gasoline /We would so happy burning on the inside.’ Taylor writes ‘just north of erasure,’ and I find his voice filled with elegance and assured grittiness. ‘I will print my next book on the pages of hotel stationery,’ he promises. I, for one, will be waiting for this.”

Jennifer Eldridge was awarded Second Prize. The judge’s citation states: “I’m struck by Eldridge’s ability to deconstruct her poems even as she is constructing them. Autumnal in nature, her poetics seem indirectly related to those of imagist and objectivist poetry. It’s a poetry where ‘Everything is thinning away/ anxious to encounter its plain self.’ And she makes good on that promise, whether she is both making and taking apart a moth (‘The capsule of the head crunches under/my fingertips,’ ‘I’ve seen all/ of you/honest’) or raising ax to the sky, herself the ax, ultimately sky itself the ax and the axed (‘sky sky sky sky sky /could the ax frac-ture sky sky/diminished body’). Eldridge works carefully with silence and sound. There’s an echolocation here, a modality understood but not rationally so. I love her brief lines and the frequencies she inhabits.”

Third Prize was awarded to Michael Floydd Elliott. Joni Wallace observes, “I appreciate this poet’s use of story and place and his appropriation of form in service of both. In a short series of ‘Desert(ed) Sonnets’ Elliott warns us to ‘forget this place of tumbling moon-/light districts distinct to no one’ while at the same time engaging in an archaeological dig of place and self. Elliott works the subterranean levels, creating lists of necessaries in the form of emergency supply kits. While his loose sonnets engage such things as ‘grandmas/pregnant with aspirin,’ ‘sun-leached warm asphalt’ and ‘mastodon bone with a spear head embedded in it,’ the accompanying (footnoted) supply kits serve as anti-sonnets, equally delightful and surprising, but moments of anti-lyric moving between such things as ‘Spear Guns’ to ‘Draw String from Steve’s Shorts’ to ‘Superglue’ to ‘Tylenol 500 mg’ to ‘Duck Ta[pe]’ to ‘You, Me, & a Water Ski.’ I admire Elliott’s off-kilter sensibility, his experimentation and willingness to live there, all the while close to home.”

Honorable Mentions for the Keith Wilson/Joseph Samoza Poetry Prize are the following:

  • Jeff Pickell, whose poems Joni Wallace finds to “show, yes, a small world, but also one made large with gems of thingness: ice cream trucks, poodles, piers and cats named Dinky. Here’s a poet who believes, and shows us again, and shows us slant: no ideas but in things. Beautifully compressed, sparkling, these poems are places to inhabit.”
  • Wallace states that “Megan Wong’s ‘On the Dynamisms of Growing Up Young’ feels just like a synthesis of bubbles – ‘the ones that pop each time I ride shotgun/in the red Grand Am.’ I am captivated by her buoyance and reflection."
  • Jeanine Deibel, Wallace observes, writes poems with “short lines— encompassing a ‘dog/that flew into a bun,’ the ‘fishes/in your head’ and a speaker who swallows ‘all the eggs/feeling guilty about the birds’— that are odd delights, like flashes of light in a darkened hallway.”


The winner of the Ruth Scott Academy of American Poets Prize, also judged by poet Joni Wallace, is Adam Crittenden. Wallace states, “Ambitious and polished, wearing their syntax and diction and allusions like favorite shirts, Crittenden addresses myth and modern culture, moving deftly into the territory meaning-making itself. Nature says ‘see or shut your eyes,’ he tells us. He then makes us see and therefore become the trees, leaves, shadows, and children who will come after us. Ultimately I trust this voice as it projects the mind in movement, stasis, death and empire, creating for each state the successive shadows of the individual as ‘green boisterous cloud,’ ‘purple veil,’ ‘green mist.’ Crittenden’s voice is clear and confident, at ease with the greatest complexities.”

EVERYONE is invited to an awards event is scheduled for Friday, December 2, 11:30-1:00, 
in the Emerson Room. It’s also a chance to celebrate the end of the semester. And of course, 
there will be ample amounts of food!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reading December 2nd: Bin Ramke and Adam Crittenden

Bin Ramke edits the Denver Quarterly and teaches literature and creative writing in the English Department at University of Denver. During his childhood in the south he intended to become a mathematician, and then a sculptor, but ended up at LSU a literature major instead. Later he received a Ph.D. from Ohio University then taught in Georgia prior to arriving at the University of Denver. He teaches part of the year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His first book won the Yale Younger Poets Award, and he has since published ten other books of poems.

Adam Crittenden is working on an MFA at New Mexico State University and editing for Puerto Del Sol. He teaches freshman composition and creative writing.

Friday, December 2nd, 7:30 pm at Hardman Hall 106.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Darlin Neal Radio Chat

NMSU Alum and faculty member at University of Central Florida, Darlin Neal was in town visiting and spoke with Carrie Hamblen for her "Images" program on the local NPR station, KRWG. On the show, she talks about her early years as a single mother and writer. She remembers her beginnings as a writer, how she learned the craft and how she inspires her students to do the the link above to listen in.

More, More, More

This is another lovely publication by one of NMSU's MFA grads. It's a limited edition chapbook by Travis Brown, our favorite farmer.

Greying Ghost is the press and they make lovely books. Check it!

If you need one, here is a little taste of his work at the lovely magazine Prick of the Spindle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MFA Alum Books Galore!

Check it: new short story collection by NMSU MFA grad Andrew Scott is out for us all to enjoy. Kudos to Andrew! Engine Books is his wife Victoria Barrett's press (she's also an alum), and Andrew runs an online book club called Andrew's Book Club.

In Naked Summer, Andrew Scott brilliantly conjures up my home state of Indiana, that in-between, mixed-up blend of farmland, suburbia, isolated towns and would-be cities stuck in the flyover, but he accomplishes much more than this. His stunning collection of stories also deftly captures those in-between states that everyone finds themselves in at some point—those times of limbo when we’re between jobs or relationships, or, most memorably, that last “naked summer” when childhood lingers and adulthood has not yet arrived. This is a heart-wrenching collection, at once hilarious and wise. I couldn’t put it down.
—Elizabeth Stuckey-French, author of The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady and Mermaids on the Moon

Andrew Scott’s stories are streamlined, intense, and unsettling. His characters don’t quite know themselves, but the author knows them well. They teeter in the margins of safety, in a way that many Americans have been pushed off the path to the dream. I recommend these stories highly.
Alice Elliott Dark, author of In the Gloaming and Think of England

Friday, October 21, 2011


YES! Joey Nicoletti is making good. He is the author of the poetry collections Borrowed Dust (Finishing Line Press, 2011), and Cannoli Gangster, which was selected as a finalist for the Steel Toe Books Poetry Prize by Denise Duhamel (Turning Point Books, September 2012). Feel free to contact him and read some of his other work at

"In his first full-length collection, Cannoli Gangster, Joey Nicoletti deftly weaves cultural, familial, and personal memory into poems that are funny, profound, and moving at once. Exploring the truth and the strangeness of being Italian, American, and Italian-American, he reflects the subtle nuances of experiencing America’s cultural melting pot and the challenges of assimilation at a depth only poetry can reach. These are wry, wise, and deeply humane poems filled with images that are memorable and undeniably true."

—Dan Albergotti, author of The Boatloads, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize


NMSU MFA graduate Krystal Languell is now available in print! Call the Catastrophists can be purchased from Blazevox or any of your favorite retailers. (Photo credit: Pieter van Hattem--from a recent article in Poets and Writers Magazine where she discusses our MFA.)

When we discuss Krystal, it's along these lines...

"Krystal Languell traverses memory and desire with a tough-minded concern for language’s (in)ability to mean. Place and language collide, collude, and collapse everywhere, producing subversions of the order/system of all things: catastrophe pervades. Call the Catastrophists interrogates—colloquially, effortlessly—the damage done to us by language. There is perhaps no greater challenge for the poet, and perhaps no better poet to engage it than Languell." —Carmen Giménez Smith

Sunday, October 16, 2011

18th Annual Hunger Benefit A Success

Thanks to all who participated in this year's Hunger Benefit. All proceeds from the event benefited Casa de Peregrinos, a local emergency food program. According to Casa de Peregrinos Executive Director Lorenzo Alba, the program fed near ten thousand families in 2009 and distributes between 15 and 21 tons of food a week. The benefit has raised close to $65,000 for the charity over the years. This year's event featured poet Juliana Spahr. Other featured readings included editor and local poet Sheila Black, author Jim Ferris and Lisa Gill. Below are pictures from the event.

From left to right: Kara Dorris, Bobby Byrd, Sheila Black, and Jennifer Bartlett

Jim Ferris at podium

Juliana Spahr

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lily Hoang and Joshua Bowen Reading

New creative writing fiction faculty member, Lily Hoang, recently read with MFA candidate Joshua Bowen. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Semester Kicks Off with Reading

It's an exciting new year of readings, and what better way to kick off the year than with a reading by Lee K. Abbott? 

A New Mexico State University alum from 1973, Lee K. Abbott is a nationally acclaimed writer whose work often engages with the lives of contemporary New Mexicans. He is the author of six books, including the recent All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories (2006). 

Abbott's reading was preceded by a spectacular reading by poetry MFA candidate Floydd Eliott. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Poet Robbie Wendeborn (MFA '11) Launches Print Journal

Robbie Wendeborn is soliciting work (and support) for a new print journal:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am pleased to introduce, Extended Play, a short magazine of long literature.  It's being partially funded by a creative research grant awarded in the fall by the English Department.  Things are coming along really well, but I'm still in need of submissions and support, both monetary and social.  Consider submitting your writing through the online submission manager, Liking it on Facebook, following it on Twitter, or donating/pre-ordering through paypal.

If nothing else, I want to thank you all for the best three years of my life.  This project is the result of working with so many great writers and editors, and I hope that I can live up to the same standards I've learned from you, my peers and mentors.

All the best,
Robert Alan Wendeborn
Editor - Extended Play

Friday, May 13, 2011

Photos from the Nelson/Boswell Reading Series

Check out some pictures from the 2010-2011 La Sociedad para las Artes Nelson/Boswell Reading Series! These pictures range from October 2010 to April 2011. All photos by Josh Bowen.
MFA student poet Elizabeth Brasher

poet Cynthia Hogue

MFA fiction writer Daniel Cameron

novelist Daniel Black

MFA fiction writer Tracy Bowling

poet (and NMSU MFA alum) Dorine Jennette

Writer Sallie Bingham
poet and NMSU alum TIm Staley

poet Patty Seyburn

MFA fiction writer Erin Reardon

poet Rosa Alcala

MFA fiction writer Laura Walker

MFA poet Carrie Murphy

poet Jacqueline Osherow

MFA poet Peter Brooks

poet Rachel Levitsky

MFA fiction writer Mike Meginnis

NMSU visiting professor, fiction writer and NMSU alum Evan Lavender-Smith

Friday, April 29, 2011

Evan Lavender-Smith Reading Tonight with Mike Meginnis

It's the last reading of the semester. Don't miss it.

Friday, April 29, Hardman Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Prose writers Evan Lavender-Smith and Mike Meginnis

EVAN LAVENDER-SMITH is the author of Avatar (2011) and From Old Notebooks (2010). Stephen Burt has called From Old Notebooks "an anti-masterpiece of an anti-novel"; Charles Altieri has said of it, "Finally a conceptual art that is thoroughly literary." Evan is the editor of Noemi Press, the prose and drama editor of Puerto del Sol and a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at New Mexico State University.

Mike Meginnis is an MFA student at NMSU who will be reading from his recently completed novel told from the perspective of BOMBS!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thesis Awards

Our dear founder and beloved teacher, great writer and all around nice
guy, Kevin "Mc" McIlvoy has announced the winners of the Jacobs Thesis
Awards this year.

Poetry: LENT FROM STARS by Heather Frankland
These memorable poems present the testimonies of people who have
nourishment but cannot put hungering out of mind, who have safety but
are unsure they wish for it, who regard the transforming silences as
highly as the transacting instruments of language. I particularly
admire how the flow of thought in the poems progresses towards
judgment and certainty, but then is broken by moments of turning back
and turning deeper into the undertow of chaotic feeling. The result
is that each time I reread the poems, I feel my eyes, tongue, ears,
nose, skin have been brought closer to the sites of oblivion: that
algarroba tree (“Apology”), that creek bed (“You Are This Picture,
Cropped Out”), that crowded EL (“Intimacy”), that unexcavated city
(“Crushed Bouquets”), that carcass (“Always In Front of Them”). On the
haunting terrain of these poems, the reader is reminded that “we are
all hungry here / even the sky eats itself / every day at noon” (“Dry

Fiction: CLEARFORK by Erin Reardon
In every passage, these stories (“Grace” and “Clearfork”) expose the
quiet fears – of the body’s riddles, of the heart’s resistances to
trust – arising in familial relationships. I find genuine wisdom in
these sensitive portrayals of the human comedy. The scenes presenting
father and mother and stepmother offer extraordinary fullness; they
make us feel intimately present for the crucial moments in which no
resolution will occur, no consolation will arrive. What has laid claim
to us will not let us go: the author of Clearfork invites us to
experience the dark magic of that human mystery. I particularly admire
the moments in these stories that lift us into wonder, as when the
character Margaret (in “Grace”) imagines her unborn children: “Human
babies never spilled from her womb in these half-conscious imaginings;
they were always feline, uncurling in her arms, their downy fur slick
with her own insides, mewling. She would lift them to her chest and
lick them clean with her own long sandy tongue, would feel their
shapes in her mouth, their angular skulls and pointed ears. Her
children had pelts of gold, of the deepest black, of amber. In the
morning she would wake with their taste on her tongue…” There are many
moments like it in Clearfork, a complex work of exceptional clarity
and depth.

Mc writes: "this continued participation in the program means the
world to me: please convey to everyone there how grateful I am for the
honor of reading the MFA theses."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Note from Kevin Honold, former MFA student

Hello to all my friends and teachers at New Mexico State University, and to those I’ll meet when I return there in Fall, 2012. I am serving a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Altai, western Mongolia. It is a high desert town surrounded by rocky brown mountains, so arriving here last August was in some ways like taking US 70 into Las Cruces. It felt weirdly familiar. It is a beautiful place, and the people of Altai are very kind and generous people. From the school and community where I received so much friendship and support, I’d like to ask a favor…

Holy Mount Monastery Complex Renovation Project
My co-worker in Altai is D. Enkhtsetseg. She is the Foreign Language Methodologist for Russian and English teachers in Gobi-Altai Province. She is the mother of three children who attend school here, and she wants to do something meaningful for her community, and so she has asked me to help her to contribute to a tree-planting project at the monastery here. The word ‘desertification’ does not make a compelling headline, but it is a vast and growing problem that affects the health and livelihoods of millions, as well as the health of the planet. It occurs when over-grazing and over-cultivating loosen and dry the soil, which is then blown away by the wind. There is no longer soil to retain groundwater, and so water becomes surface runoff and rivers dry up. In the past 50 years, 500-700 rivers in Mongolia have disappeared. The town I live in is surrounded by dry riverbeds. Mongolia sits at the center of a crisis. Deforestation is a major cause of desertification, and here in Mongolia, reforestation projects only cover a small percentage of the area lost annually.
Our project has recently been approved by Peace Corps. You can go to this site, search my last name (Honold), read a summary of the project, and contribute anonymously, any amount you like:
“If you plant a tree, you earn merit in this life. If you plant two trees, you earn merit in the next.” It’s a Buddhist proverb, but the trees don’t care if you’re not Buddhist. If you’re willing to take Pascal’s wager, that’s not a bad deal.
The trees will be planted at the Holy Mount Monastery Complex, which shares the site of the Gobi-Altai Province 70th Anniversary Memorial.
It is a place of civic pride and religious importance. N. Enkhjargal, the head lama of the monastery, last year submitted a plan to the Gobi-Altai Provincial government, and received a commitment by the governor to pay 25% of the costs. His plan involves renovation of the monastery building and the planting of hundreds of trees. Our part of the project involves the planting of 500 more trees on 1.5 hectares of the complex grounds; the planting of flower beds and native grasses; the construction of a pipe and a reservoir to carry water from a nearby spring to the seedlings and saplings; and a modest sign commemorating American-Mongolian cooperation in the project.
The project will involve S. Gantuya’s Red Cross student volunteers, from Altai School #3, and D. Orgilmaa’s graduating students from School #1. Involving these young people (the future leaders and decision makers of Mongolia) is crucial to fostering the new awareness called for by the Mongolian government and by the UN. Right now, ‘awareness’ is all Mongolia can afford. It is a young democracy (1991), and a poor country.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Benefit for Sylvia

Last Saturday's benefit for MFA graduate poet (and current Onate High School English teacher) Tim Staley's baby was a huge success! Bands played; poets read; food, face-painting and art was sold to the more than willing. Sylvia's mom Suzanne even played bass with her band for part of the night. Over $10,000 was raised to help with Sylvia's liver transplant, which should happen any day now, since she is at the top of the list. Thanks to all who helped. This is one great town.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Carmen Giménez Smith wins fellowship from Howard Foundation

Professor Carmen Giménez Smith has been awarded a fellowship from the prestigious Howard Foundation of Brown University. The George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation was established in 1952 to further the personal development of promising individuals at the crucial middle stages of their careers in the liberal and creative arts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


to poetry graduate student Robert Rome who wrote an essay for his nonfiction class with Rus called, "Night of the Green Mango Donkey Fucker--A Collage of Whips." This essay won Honorable Mention in AWP's Intro Journals Project. Congrats to Robert.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Meet the Lavenders"

Carrie Murphy's chapbook, "Meet the Lavenders," will be published this early summer by Birds of Lace Press (San Francisco). It's a series about a fictional girl group in the 1960's. Congrats to Carrie.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Extended Deadline For Din Magazine--March 31!

The mission of this journal is to give an
opportunity and space for 
Groundbreaking,Inspirational, Unique, and Revolutionary
artists to showcase their talents.


Submissions, however, are open to anyone. Modes included are visual art, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, podcast, and video.

Send your submissions to:
For more information, visit


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recent Publications: Students and Faculty

Poet and professor Richard Greenfield has some new poems up at Common-Place.

Carmen Gimenez Smith, in a visual collaboration with artist and fellow NMSU faculty member Peter Fine, has three poems at Listenlight.

MFA student Melanie Sweeney Bowen has a piece in the January issue of the Foundling Review.

3rd year poet Robert Alan Wendeborn has four poems in the latest issue of Kill Author.

Adam Crittenden has a very short story in Up The Staircase, and two poems in the January issue of Diverse Voices Quarterly.  His poem "A Less Peaceful Meditation," also appears in The Meadowland Review.

Quite a few NMSU students, alumni and faculty appear in the inaugural issue of Lingerpost, including Adam Crittenden, John Chavez, Austin Tremblay, Natalie Day, Elizabeth Brasher, and former visiting writer Sheila Black.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

MFA One Act Play Festival

All should attend this production of new plays written in Mark Medoff's workshop...all plays written by students currently in the MFA or recently graduated. Looks like a great show!


No Strings Theatre Company presents a One Act Play Festival running March 4 -
March 13 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall in Las Cruces. The plays
were written by students of Mark Medoff's Playwriting class. The 4 plays will be
performed each evening.

"Tarrant County Jail" by Neal Adelman is directed by Amy Lanasa. Three men in a
holding cell discuss the Boy Scouts, High School, Women, and Fatherhood. The
cast includes Shiloh Holloway as Earl, Eric Young as Dunbar, Zac Perez-Wright as
Henry and Patrick McKinney the Guard

"Sandpiper" by Peggy Chapman is directed by Mark Medoff. Nicole, an Ohio
transplant with a lot of real and figurative baggage, moves into a San Diego
condominium complex. Her exceptionally helpful, multi-talented neighbor, Travis,
sets out with bruising enthusiasm to help her unload that baggage. A unique
relationship embarks toward a titanic clash of wills. The cast includes Katy
Taylor as Nicole, Brandon Brown as Travis, Marcella Salmon as Tanya.

"The Interview" by Mike Meginnis is directed by David Edwards. A top-level
Hollywood executive seeks a personal assistant for an even bigger movie mogul.
Has he found the right person for the job? The cast includes Bob Diven as Doyle,
Ted Aspen Sanchez as Orson and Gail Wheeler as Edie

"Invisible Box" by Tracy Bowling is directed by Deborah LaPorte. Two parents
recovering from their teenage daughter's attempt at suicide quarrel over the
meaning of her sudden descent into silence and pantomine. It's when they learn
to talk to each other that they discover she has ambitions beyond any of the
possibilities they had imagined for her. The cast includes Tiffany Tyson as
Mallory, Eric Young as Dan and Cindy Murrell as Ruth.

Performances are:
Friday, March 4 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Friday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creative Writing Faculty Rus Bradburd Wins Southwest Book Award

We are pleased to annouce that Rus Bradburd has won a Southwest Book Award for Forty Minutes of Hell: The Extraordinary Life of Nolan Richardson. Since 1971, the awards have been presented in recognition of outstanding books about the Southwest published each year. Congratulations, Rus.

Monday, February 7, 2011

3rd Year Student Profile: Carrie Murphy

Note: This is the last in a series profiling students in their last year of the MFA program at New Mexico State. To see the other students profiled, click on the 3rd year students label at the bottom of this post.  

Carrie Murphy is finishing her last year as an MFA student in Poetry at New Mexico State University, where she works as the La Sociedad Para Las Artes Reading Coordinator and and as a graduate assistant. During her first year in Las Cruces, she worked as an adjunct instructor at Dona Ana Community College.

Carrie grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she majored in English and minored in Jewish Studies. Her other academic interests include feminism, Latin American literature, and girlhood studies. Her non-academic interests include cooking, live music, vintage clothing, becoming fluent in Spanish, photography, and hiking in the desert. She blogs with fellow NMSU poet Robert Alan Wendeborn at Master of Fine Eats, a blog about eating well in graduate school.

She's currently at work on her thesis, which explores gender performance within the landscape of girlhood. Carrie's poems have appeared in PANK, WTF PWM, Prick of the Spindle, Corium, and Keyhole 9. 

After graduation, Carrie would like to continue teaching writing, and is considering becoming a birth and postpartum doula. She will have her public reading on April 1st, 2011, with Jacqueline Osherow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

NMSU at AWP 11

NMSU will be well-represented at AWP this year, with both Puerto Del Sol and the NMSU MFA program exhibiting at the bookfair. The tables are right next to each other, so stop by and say hello, as well as pick up a copy of the latest Puerto and some information on the MFA at NMSU. Richard Greenfield's press, Apostrophe Books, will be sharing a table with Action Books. You can find Noemi Press at the Puerto table.

Be sure to attend Possess Nothing, a reading hosted by Apostrophe Books, Action Books, Black Ocean, Slope Editions, and Tarpaulin Sky Press on Saturday 2/5, 6:30 pm at the Wonderland Ballroom. 

Carmen Gimenez Smith will be participating in the following panels:

Omni Shoreham Empire Ballroom, West Lobby 
Poet/Editors on Inclusivity and Race. (Rich Villar, Dan Chiasson, Don
Share, Carmen Giménez Smith, Barbara Jane Reyes)
Poet/editors discuss inclusiveness (and lack thereof) of minority
voices in literary publications. Representing both mainstream and more
community-based projects, the panelists consider the challenges of
inclusiveness, and how successful (and unsuccessful) they have been.
They consider how, in an atmosphere of perceived mistrust,
constructive dialogue can be forged towards the goal of better
presenting the broad spectrum of American poetry.

Saturday, 4:30-5:45 p.m.
Wilson A, B, & C Room
Marriott Wardman Park, Mezzanine Level
S218. LaChiPo and the New Latino Poetics/Politics. (John-Michael Rivera, Rodrigo Toscano, Valerie Martinez, Roberto Tejada, Danielle Cadena Deulen, Carmen Giménez Smith) LaChiPo, an online forum for the Latino Diaspora, is the Latino’s 21st-century answer to “new” movements like flarf and conceptual poetics. Devoted to developing Latino letters, LaChiPo invites AWP attendees to resituate how they read, to relearn how identity is spoken, expanding their articulation of history, art and modernity. LaChiPo presents writers discussing Latino conceptions of internet community, identity and the avant-garde, reading individual and their collective poetry works.

Carmen will also be participating in the Floricanto reading, which is on Friday 2/4 at 6 pm
at the True Reformer Building on U Street.

MFA students will also be busy; Heather Frankland will be volunteering for the conference. Carrie Murphy and Megan Wong will be at the NMSU MFA table, Mike Meginnis will be found at the Puerto Del Sol table and Robert Alan Wendeborn will be helping out at the Apostrophe table.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

3rd Year Student Profile: Heather Dawn Frankland

Heather Dawn Frankland originally hails from Hoosier-land Indiana, which, contrary to public opinion, is not solely full of corn. She originally arrived to Las Cruces for a Masters of Public Health, but was so enchanted by a poetry elective class that she decided to pursue her MFA after receiving her MPH. Currently, she is completing her MFA in Poetry at New Mexico State University. She teaches courses in composition and creative writing in which she regularly inserts principles of community advocacy. Additionally, she has been active in community volunteering, program building, and grant writing.

Much of Heather’s work is inspired by her international experiences living abroad, namely her time serving as a Peace Corps Community Health Volunteer in Peru. Although she never really mastered how to drive a donkey as evidenced by the photo, she did learn a mountain of life experiences that expanded her paradigm. Her thesis-in-progress explores the concept of “othering” and being “othered.” She enjoys magical realism and modern interpretations of the fairy tale. 

After receiving her MFA, Heather plans to build programs that use creative approaches, such as writing, in order to address social and public health problems like violence. Although she hasn’t actively pursued publishing, she is focusing on doing so in the future  and becoming more widely published.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

RIP John Ross

John Ross always stopped by NMSU as he crisscrossed the Americas. Last year he spoke to Rus Bradburd's workshop about his writing career...

Here's the obit from SF Gate:

"Journalist, investigative poet and social activist John Ross died peacefully today at Lake Patzcuaro in Mexico where he had lived on and off for the past 50 years. He was 72. The cause was liver cancer.

A young generation Beat poet and the national award-winning author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, and nine chapbooks of poetry, Ross received the American Book Award (1995) for Rebellion from the Roots: Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas, and the coveted Upton Sinclair Award (2005) for Murdered By Capitalism: 150 Years of Life and Death on the American Left. The first journalist to bring news of the indigenous Mexican Zapatista revolution to English-speaking readers, Ross was widely regarded as a "voice for those without a voice," who stood with the poor and oppressed in his brilliantly stylized writing, suffering beatings and arrests during many nonviolent protests."

Read more:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Owl Eye Review: New Literary Journal from NMSU Alumni

NMSU alumni Austin Tremblay, MFA Poetry '09 and current PhD student at the University of Houston, has begun a new literary journal that publishes poetry and essays. Owl Eye Review's first issue is forthcoming. Submit here!

You can also follow Owl Eye Review on Twitter or Facebook.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reading this Friday, 1/14, with Patty Seyburn and Tim Staley

The next reading in the La Sociedad Para Las Artes Nelson/Boswell Reading Series will feature poet Patty Seyburn, reading with NMSU MFA alumni and poet Tim Staley. Patty Seyburn is the author of Hilarity (Western Michigan University, 2009).
Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). She also edits the journal POOL.

The reading will take place on Friday, January 14th, at 7:30 pm in the new auditorium in the Health and Social Services building (located in the new addition to the CHHS building), with a reception to follow. The CHHS building is located at 1335 International Mall.  Subsequent readings for the semester will take place in Hardman 106. 

In addition to her reading, Patty Seyburn will be giving a craft talk about humor in poetry on Saturday, January 15th at 11 am in the Emerson Room in Clara Belle Williams Hall. The craft talk is described as follows: 

"What We Talk About When We Talk About Humor in Poetry": the role of
wit, laughter, pathos, jokes, irony, and comic relief. How, why and when to be funny in a poem. When it works, when it backfires. When humor is a strength, when it is a crutch. The issue of timing; the relationship  between humor and form. How "funny" functions in lyric
versus narrative. The connection between humor and ... human connection within a poem. Humor and the voice/consciousness of a poem.

 If you live in or around Southern NM, we hope to see you at both the reading and the craft talk.