Archive for the ‘Congratulations’ Category


Goodbye Troll Essay Published

April 30, 2010

Jennifer Simpson’s (2nd year MFA/ CNF) essay, “Goodbye Troll:  a blogger’s manifesto” which was created in Lynn Beene’s course, The Art of the Popular Esaay, has been published at THE WOMEN’S COLONY an online magazine for women…

Make No Mistake: this kind of harassment can be as frightening and as real as being followed and watched in your neighborhood or in your home. ~Vice President Al Gore

The first comment was rather innocuous, albeit grammatically incorrect: “ACTIONS SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS” It was submitted, in all caps, to my blog anonymously at 1:56 a.m. in response to my post The Power of Words on the 40th anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s death. I had embedded a YouTube video of one of Kennedy’s greatest speeches and I quoted:

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

I quoted it because some things bear repeating.

The second comment came two hours later and included an alleged quote from Buddha and some ramblings about “truth.” Signed, “Anonymous.” I approved both because though strange, they seemed harmless enough.


UPDATE:  The Womens Colony website is no more.  Therefore, my essay is no longer published, I guess!  if anyone knows of a good home for a good essay about a cyberstalker, let me know.


Academy of American Poets Prize Winners 2010

April 30, 2010


We are pleased to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the 2010 Academy of American Poets Prize Competition!

39 UNM poets participated in both the grad and undergrad contests. Winners each receive $75. Thanks to everyone who submitted work!

~Dana Levin, Contest Coordinator

Graduate Competition:

Winner: Tommy Archuleta, for “Jack’s Creek Soliloquy”
Hon Mention: Erika Sanchez, for “Earthquake”

Judge: Amy Beeder

Undergraduate Competition:

Winner: Katlyn McKinney, for “Water Passing”
Hon Mention: Oakley Merideth, for “Vulgar Latin”

Judge: Lisa Chavez

Transparency Statement:
All submissions were presented to judges with identifying marks removed. The contest coordinator did no pre-screening, ranking or evaluation, added no commentary on submissions, and engaged in no conversation with the judges regarding submissions. For more information on the contest and the Academy of American Poets, click the link below.


Jennifer Gets Creative

February 28, 2010

Jennifer Simpson’s article, “Giving Voice to Your Prose” is featured in the premiere issue of LP Creative Humans magazine.  This new magazine is being published utilizing some pretty slick publishing and print-on-demand technology from Hewlett Packard…   and some creative know-how from publisher/ editor Leah Peterson:

LP Creative Humans is about, you guessed it, humans that are creative. We are bringing people together and sharing what each of them has to offer. This goes beyond the easy to spot creativity like photography, writing and the arts, although those are all wonderful. We’re going into deeper territory and want you to ask the question, ‘What do I do that makes me happy?‘ And then share it with us. If you can explain it, document it and show it to us, we want to share it with everyone.

LP Creative Humans is now accepting submissions for Issue 2.

And on another note, Jennifer’s short story, “Our House is Like Switzerland” was published in January at Bartleby Snopes


February DimeStories Audio uploaded!

February 26, 2010

This Could be YOU

Our first DimeStories event was a success–  over 20 people, from
CNM, UNM, ABQ and even Belen!  Thanks to everyone who came, and most of all for sharing their awesome 3 minute stories.

The selected “best of” the evening included two of UNM’s own… Annarose Fitzgerald, who although she is not IN the MFA program (I call her a lit geek) she is a darn good writer.  MFA Candidate, fiction writer David Rubalcava also ranked “best of” with a piece that is untitled.

As curator, I added an honorable mention shout out to MFAer Dawn Sperber and undergraduate Randi Beck.  Two more awesome writers in our creative writing family.

To listen to the top 3 selected, head on over to the DimeStories website.

And put the next event on your calendar:

Thursday, March 18, 2010.  7 pm.

At The Source, 1111 Carlisle Ave. SE (1 mile south of Central)

or the next, or the next…  we’re doing this every THIRD Thursday!


Tanaya at Church

February 16, 2010

At the January 31 Church of Beethoven, poet (and fellow grad student)Tanaya Winder read three pieces.  In addition to listening to her poetry, I enjoy hearing Tanaya talk about her own work….

When Tanaya talks about the doctors and the MRIs…  that will become like the dishes, I think of my sister, who has breast cancer.   She’s fine, but I’ve been fascinated how her chemo appointments (going on 6 years now) are like the dishes. It is such a part of her routine….

Tanaya’s second poem is a nice lighter touch after such a heavy poem…

but her third and final poem she wrote, with inspiration from the music that was scheduled to play that day:

AND if you want to take a listen to the music that inspired Tanaya’s work, check out this video:


Lena Todd Award Winners

February 16, 2010

Join us to celebrate the winners of the Lena M. Todd Endowed Memorial Award, an annual award to students (undergrads) doing the best work in creative writing.

Friday, February 19 at 7 PM
at RB Winnings (on Harvard just south of Central)

FICTION: 1st–Randi Beck, 2nd–Madeleine Coen
POETRY: 1st–Elizabeth Rapf; 2nd–Hunter Lazier
NONFICTION: 1st–Victoria Brooke Rodrigues; 2nd–Lauren Weber

I am constantly amazed by the quality of writing coming out of UNM’s undergrad program so I’m sure I will be amazed once again.  Come on down to Winnings, and be amazed too!

Come early for coffee….


Gratitude for Lisa Gill

February 15, 2010
New Mexico Literary Arts announces Gratitude Award 2009
Sin Fronteras/Writers without Borders
Lisa Gill
Ernesto Torres, President of the board of the New Mexico Literary Arts (NMLA) and the rest of the board is pleased to announce that the second annual Gratitude Award 2009 has been awarded to Sin Fronteras/Writers without Borders, based in Las Cruces, NM and Lisa Gill from Albuquerque, NM.
The Gratitude Awards were initiated to honor people who have advanced the art of poetry in New Mexico, either as poets, organizers or activists. The Gratitude Award offers a cash award of $500 together with a commemorative ceramic plaque, and are selected, according to merit, by the NMLA board of directors. “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow – just as poetry strives to” said Joan Logghe, board member.
Read the rest of this entry ?

Gary Jackson (MFA 2008) wins Cave Canem Poetry Prize

January 8, 2010

Gary Jackson (MFA 2008) has won the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, which means not only that his manuscript, “Missing You, Metropolis,” will be published by the University of Georgia Press in 2010, but also comes with a $1,000 cash award.

For more information:

Congratulations to one of our own!


Hayden’s Ferry Review Puts the Spotlight on Erika Sanchez

September 29, 2009

Erika Sanchez

My writing process is a bit like me: irrational.

Sometimes images seem to haunt me until I am compelled to write a poem around them; other times I do everything I can to “break my eye open” (this concept comes from my favorite TV series, “Six Feet Under.”) To break your eye open is exactly what it sounds like— to see the world in a new way, to make unusual associations. I do this is by delving into my subconscious—a fecund and frightening place. I love writing exercises for that reason. They help me find startling images and fresh language after I feel I’ve exhausted all of my own. One of my favorites is

a dada exercise that I learned from my wonderful poetry instructor in Spain– Jesús Urceloy. What a brilliant man. He had everyone follow the most specific and absurd instructions and the end result was amazing. For example, he made us write the word “lamp” on a sheet of paper and leave it near our bed. Upon waking we were to immediately write every word that came to mind when we thought of “lamp.” Then in class he made us write all of the words we associated with “fish” along with a series of other similar instructions. Towards the end we were to give one of the lines we had written to a partner as a gift. He then instructed us to recite our lines in a specific order, then at random until they began sounding like an incantation. Everyone wrote incredible poems and that class remains as one of my most beloved memories. I miss those people profoundly…



My Own Horn

September 21, 2009

posted by Jennifer Simpson

I’m really good at tooting other people’s horns.  I also good at telling other people to toot their own horns.  But when it comes to my own successes, for some reason I get shy all the sudden.

So, I’m taking a deep breath.  Here goes.

I have been selected to receive the 2009 IMAGE OF WELDING AWARD from the American Welding Society.

Welding? you may ask.  Why I didn’t know you were a welder!

And I will have answer that no. I am not a welder. I just play one online.  And write about welding.

The award is for my “exemplary dedication to promoting the image of welding in my community”–  which happens to be the world wide web.

I was nominated by my boss, who wrote in the application:

Jennifer took the lead on developing two industry leading blogs for and

As Jennifer learned more about the welding industry, she became fascinated with the stories behind the people in the industry, and particularly the women in the industry, of which there are few. As of 2006 only 6% of welders were women according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, in spite of a projected shortage of welders, and the fact that there are good paying jobs out there.

With a hat tip to Rosie the Riveter, the iconic World War II factory worker, Jennifer developed a regular feature on the blog called “The New Rosies.”  Through this column she has profiled women who weld in a variety of industries, chipping away at some of the lingering stereotypes about women who weld and some of the misconceptions about what kind of work welding is. With the blog, Jennifer initiated a feature called “Show Me The Metal” to profile all kinds of interesting welders and a variety of welding applications.


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