Farewell to Mitch's Space Monday and LPG update

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Lisa Gill

May 24, 2013, 4:30:52 AM5/24/13
to Local Poets Guild Google Group
Dear poetry friends,
If you haven't been checking the blog, you might have missed that we've been counting down the ten final readings and features in the East of Edith open mic series. Monday is the last chance to come out to say  thank you to Mitch for opening his doors to poetry... The show will begin at the usual Monday night 7 pm, but will kick off with a potluck (please bring food to share if you like), as well as music by TEO 315 (Weaver, Balistreri, Norman, Faaet, Woodyard) and projections by Basement Films. Then we'll close out the series with a celebratory one-poem-each open mic and a final hoorah and thanks to Mitch for a great space for over two years. That's 7 pm Monday May 27th at 3614 High Street NE. Here's more.

Also LPG supported Outspoken's efforts to bring a poet to perform at PrideFest. Last year we helped too, but this time we matched community donations and stretched the funding and enthusiasm a bit farther. The campaign run by Erin Northern was successful and Jomar Valentin of Austin will be in Albuquerque in June. Here is a post with some info... In August/September, LPG will once again be collaborating with The Roost music series at the Outpost Performance Space. 

This year we also created a new short film Silence Ire on the theme of resilience with Katie Schneier and Beth Lou Hansen of Basement Films. It has been shown so far at UNM, NHCC, and the Projects and that work included interviews with a number of poets including Stewart Warren, Jules Nyquist, Amanda Rich, Nate Maxson, Senaida Garcia and others, as well as a poem I wrote to accompany the voices and images. We hope to expand the effort into a series of microfilms using poetry to address various types of resilience. We're also planning some workshops with Jennette Isaacson on creating poetry to accompany repurposed filmstrips. TBA. Lots of other projects we launched or supported continue to serve the community, including the 516 Words Literary Series and the poetry segments at Chatter, which are now coordinated by Don McIver. 

My own health is extremely tenuous and most of my energy currently goes to navigating medical concerns. That's not going to change anytime soon. My pain level is often very high, the ongoing neurological damage poses challenges, and I react violently to sunlight or toxins. Consequently, after this season, I won't be returning to public life to host or coordinate more than a rare special event. 

LPG, however, is still supporting many endeavors this year. Since March, we've already featured Rich Boucher, Jenn Givhan, Teresa Gallion, Lisa Hase Jackson, Eva Dameron, video by Beth Lou Hansen and Katie Schneir, a film strip performance demo by Jenette Isaacson, plus Bill Nevins, The Third Ear, Jules Nyquist, Lauren Schwartz, Michael C. Ford of LA, Erin Daughtry, and even a surprisingly successful You-Be-The-Feature event where names were drawn from a hat for the slots... (I think the three selections were drawn out of 13 people who were interested.)

In turn, I am personally exploring possible cultural engagement strategies that are more capable of accommodating my own disability issues as a writer/organizer/activist, including online text, video and sound archives plus print forums. And I am searching for how to accommodate other writers with disabilities, as well as those impacted by violence and poverty. I have every intention of continuing to honor literary concerns I care about, both in my own writing and by fulfilling the mission of the guild, but the ways I do public work will be changing. Change is good. Awareness of need opens new doors. I even suspect that true and full access for disabled writers also has the potential to mean access across geography and time and economic constraints.  As part of that, I also want to expand writing to heal/thrive endeavors. I'll keep you posted and should be making those announcements by October. 

Meanwhile, I'll see you Monday if you can make it to the final East of Edith. We have a beautiful thriving poetry scene with mountains of opportunities in our vibrant community. Enjoy.

Lisa Gill
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