UNM’s MFA Poets Well Represented at Superhero Fest

October 20, 2011

516 ARTS and The Local Poets Guild present an evening of poems on the theme of Superheroes.

Hosted by Hakim Bellamy the event will feature poet Gary Jackson (MFA 2008) with current MFA candidates Bonnie Altamirano, Nick DePascal and Nora Hickey for a reading and celebration in the gallery.

Friday, October 28 at 7pm

Also featured, winners of the 516 Arts Superheroes Poetry Contest, among them current MFA candidate Tanaya Winder and MFA Alum Richard Vargas

Details : http://www.516arts.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=256%253A516-words-superheroes-poetry&catid=68%253Aevents&Itemid=156


Spring 2011 Graduation

May 20, 2011

Heartfelt congratulations to our program’s most recent graduates:

  • Carrie Cutler
  • Lucy DuPertuis
  • Jennifer Krohn
  • Linda Rickert
  • Samantha Tetangco
  • Melanie Unruh

Sorry I didn’t make it to all of your defenses this Spring,  it is always inspiring ! Thank you guys for being part of our community of writers here, and best of luck. (and if I missed anyone– let me know!)

–Jennifer Simpson, MFA December 2011 (I hope!)


More May News!

May 15, 2011

Natalie Scenters-Zapico has great publishing news too! The Acentos Review just picked up her poem “Guerrero Pears,” here’s a link to their website: http://www.acentosreview.com/Home.html

AND the Minnesota Review has published “How Borders Are Built” http://www.theminnesotareview.org/


MFA Students Publishing News for May

May 13, 2011

Ty Bannerman’s article “The 7 Deadly sins of New Mexico” published in The Alibi: http://alibi.com/news/37039/7-Deadly-Sins-of-New-Mexico.html

Elizabeth Tannen’s essay, “My Mother Reads My Blog” pubslished in the online magazine, StyleSubstanceSoul:

Tanaya Winder’s poems “consider the assemblage of a longing” and “measure by measure: the body begs” published on Superstition Review http://superstitionreview.asu.edu/n7/bio.php?author=tanayawinder&bio=poetry



Dana Levin on Sky Burial

March 10, 2011

Dana Levin’s book of poetry, Sky Burial has just been released and is available in all the usual places.

If you don’t know Dana, she is currently the Joseph M. Russo endowed chair here at UNM–  at least until the end of this semester.  She’s been a tremendous asset to our Department, and will be missed, but fortunately she’ll not be far, she’ll be heading up the Creative Writing Department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (nee College of Santa Fe).

But what I really want to talk about is Dana’s work.  Recently published, Sky Burial (Copper Canyon Press, $15) has been getting fantastic reviews. And though I’ve not yet read it, I have heard her read from this manuscript, and I’ll just say that her poetry resonates with me.

Here’s a great article from the Santa Fe Reporter, an interview with Dana, talking about her work:  “SFR Talk: Musings with Dana Levin” by Ramon A Lovato.

And a nice review from Publishers Weekly, calling Levin’s third collection “aching but restrained.”  More good review coming, I’m sure.

AND if you’re in Albuquerque on March 27, and looking for something to do around 3pm, get thee to Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd. NW
Dana will be giving a reading, Bookworks will be selling books…  you can get a coffee or tea next door…



Writers’ March

March 3, 2011

One of the difficult things about being in the final stages of your MFA is that your focus is the dissertation.  What that means is that you’re not on campus as much, you may not be taking any classes at all.  So there’s no in-class bonding, there’s no after-class beers, instead, it’s you and the page with the occasional meeting with your dissertation chair.  It can be lonely.  And without the deadline of workshop it can be daunting.

Sam Tetangco, celebrating success

My colleague, Sam Tetangco, who is also in dissertation hours, came up with this fantastic idea:  Writer’s March: keeping your butt in the seat one spring day at a time.

The idea is simple.  Each day in March several of us have publicly committed to a writing goal.  We’ll use the blog to support each other.

It’s kind of like NANIWRIMO, but no novel at the end (unless that is your goal), and we’re doing it in March, not November.

The cool thing is that we’ve expanded this beyond our own MFA circle.  The challengers include not only MFA candidates from UNM, but faculty, undergraduates, AND writers in other states (sure, many are our friends, but it’s so awesome to see this thing blossom outward).

If you’d like to step up to the challenge, check out Sam’s initial post, Calling All Writers …    on the blog you’ll read about avoiding evasion strategies, you’ll get writing tips and even some creative writing prompts.  But most of all you’ll be in community with a bunch of other writers who are in the same boat as you–  trying really hard to keep your butt in the chair!


Gary Jackson Reading: Wed. March 9

March 3, 2011

Missing You Metropolis, by Gary Jackson

Mark your calendars, and plan a trip to UNM’s Student Union Building for Gary Jackson’s reading…

If you don’t know who Gary is, you should:

UNM MFA Grad 2008

Author, Missing You Metropolis, a collection of poetry

Winner 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Wednesday, March 9

7 pm

UNM Student Union Building

Sandia Room