Poetry Pilgrimage: Western Edition
A resource employing links, text and images that will allow users to discover the WHO, WHERE and the WHEN of literary and other art happenings across the West, specifically in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, and California.
Eye the vanishing point. Drop a pin in the moment, trace a squiggly route in felt tip; you can’t step in the same interstate twice. Bring a souvenir and your new skin back home, fold experience into the glove box, send the mail out for dry cleaning, vanish again. One day you’ll smell enchiladas on the street and reappear in your own dream, transformed.
dissolve into TUCSON, AZ.
Sunsets, saguaros, and Ronstadt, sure, but Where’re the Words?
It must be said: not since the film Boys on the Side has the curator of this site been so aware of the fabulous backdrop Tucson, AZ makes for brilliant, creative beautiful women. So, seeing how’s the website TucsonLit is completely empty from now through October — except for an enigmatic Poetry Circle at 2 PM Thursday, September 24 and again on Thursday, October 22 (and an uncredited photo of Claudia Rankine?) – this page is gonna be about the women behind the words in T-Town.
Kristen Nelson and Casa Libre en la Solana
The bio: Kristen E. Nelson is the author of Write, Dad (Unthinkable Creatures Press, 2012). She has recently published work in The Volta, Denver Quarterly Drunken Boat, Tarpaulin Sky Journal, Trickhouse, and Everyday Genius, among others. She is a founder and the Executive Director of Casa Libre en la Solana, a non-profit writing center in Tucson, Arizona; a production editor for Tarpaulin Sky Press; and an editor for Trickhouse. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Goddard College and teaches writing. Know more here.
The Poet’s words, from the Feminist Wire.
Video that Gets at the Thing about Casa Libre and Lit Centers of Like Vision. Keywords: community, freedom. Bonus: TC Tolbert in a large blazer.
At the Center of Kore Press
Friends by Shelagh Mulvaney
In their words: For over 20 years, Kore Press has been publishing women to advance social justice with literary activism. Writers and advocates have been working and volunteering for years to keep the vital work of the Press alive and visible despite shrinking public funding for the arts, shrinking independent media, and despite the growth of gender and racial injustices.
“…Like amnesiacs in a ward on fire, we must find words or burn.”—Olga Broumas
Kore Press was founded in 1993 by the creative efforts of book designer Lisa Bowden and poet Karen Falkenstrom. Building on the energy of the Women in Print movement of the 60s and 70s, Kore’s vision has been to publish and distribute excellent works of literary and artistic value by a diversity of women, those traditionally underrepresented in the cultural mainstream; to promote those voices; and to educate young people about bookmaking, printing, the literary arts as social activism, and publishing.
Who Are They?
Lisa Bowden: Publisher and Co-Founder, is the editor of Autumnal: A Collection of Elegies, co-editor of Powder: Writing by Women in Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq, and co-adapter and director of Coming in Hot (a play based on Powder). She has developed Kore’s long list of authors and award winning programming as a literary activist, artist, and feminist culture worker. She is a recipient of the Maryann Campau Fellowship for poetry from the University of Arizona Poetry Center and a Woman on the Move Award from the YWCA. A poet who works with an improvisational ensemble of dancers, writers, and musicians called Movement Salon. Her poetry can be found at backroomlive.wordpress.com, Spiralorb.net, and thedrunkenboat.com.
Karen Falkenstrom, Co-founder: After nearly two decades devoted to arts and literary activism—through leadership roles with the UA Poetry Center, Tucson Poetry Festival, Kore Press, Among Other Things…, InConcert Tucson!, and Tucson Pima Arts Council—Karen Falkenstrom is currently the Outreach and Production Director for Odaiko Sonora, Inc., a nonprofit arts agency dedicated to performing, teaching and increasing awareness of taiko, or Japanese ensemble drumming.
Read an interview with the publisher of and former fiction editor Shannon Cain here.
Arisa White’s interview with Roxanne Gay here.
Poetry from Jamaica Osorio here.
More poetry and news here.
A Few Words from Movement Salon:
Movement Salon is a group of movement artists, writers, and a musician who practice and perform the art of improvisation. Our only parameters are time and space. We make the rest up, all of it.
See them make up some stuff here.
For the love of feminism (and poetry, and art in general), put something on that calendar. It pops right up on Google. But post it here first. Before we disappear.