It kind of feels like a bomb has been dropped in Albuquerque, leaving a charred, smoking hole right in the middle of Downtown. Financial problems have motivated Magnífico—one of Albuquerque's best nonprofit arts organizations—to close its Downtown gallery at 516 Central SW. The organization's board also decided to lay off its three-person staff.
Burning Green Wood
A group of enterprising young artists has opened up a new gallery space at 1415 Fourth Street SW in Albuquerque's historic Barelas neighborhood. The Donkey Gallery's first show is called Burning Green Wood and will feature work by its three co-directors—David Leigh, Larry Bob Phillips and Sherlock Terry. A grand opening reception will be held Friday, Sept. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. I'm told there will be tacos. Rex Hobart will provide live tunes. The event will also serve as a launch party for the Donkey Journal, a monthly, limited edition, two-sided poster with interviews, art criticism, creative writing and reviews. The show runs through Oct. 3. 243-0502.
Café Au Lait
Former Alibi contributor Stephen Ausherman has just released a new collection of travel essays called Restless Tribes (Central Ave. Press, paper, $14.95). Several of the essays included in the book first appeared in earlier incarnations in the Alibi. Swing by Café Au Lait this Friday, Sept. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. to meet Ausherman, pick up a signed copy of his book, and check out an exhibit of photographs from his extensive travels to India, Korea, Borneo, Iraq, Vietnam, China, Tanzania and other exotic locales. The exhibit will run through Sept. 30. 248-0707.
The Family Vibe in Missouri
St. Louis Hosts the 2004 National Poetry Slam
It's official: I've got baseball fever. In the ninth inning, the Expos hit a two run homer to tie the game, and it's extra innings. We're sitting in the cheap seats at Busch Stadium and sweat is pouring down my face. Wait, this isn't baseball fever; it's August in St. Louis. Busch Stadium is a bowl of soup, and sweat is pouring from my why-didn't-I-buzz-my-hair-this-summer head as if I'm running laps. And I'm not. I'm watching a baseball game, and I'm drinking the local brew (namely Budweiser) in St. Louis the night before the National Poetry Slam begins.
The Wild World of Bush
Sore Winners (And the Rest of Us) in George Bush's America
It's a pity the Bush-bashing book genre is dominated by screeds that have as much to do with their author's vanity as with their politics. While this vituperative oeuvre took its cue from the spate of titles birthed during those seemingly innocent years when Clinton hatred comprised an ideology unto itself, they're hardly the most substantive reads. In the context of today's starkly polarized electorate—where pollsters claim only about 18 percent remain persuadable—a book that, albeit anti-Bush, offers eloquent bitch slaps to everyone from milquetoast Democrats (paging Sen. Daschle!) to robotic radicals (is there a Dr. Chomsky in the hizzouse?) ... well, such a work seems destined to be pulped in the rush toward partisan fervor.
Reading Your Rights
With John Ashcroft in charge, the Justice Department barely deserves its name. We're living in a scary new America. Learn your rights now before they're stripped away forever.
The Last Day of the War
By most accounts, this novel, set in the closing days of World War I, is a strikingly accomplished debut. The Last Day of the War emphasizes historical accuracy while still delivering a lush story about a young Jewish woman who falls in love with an Armenian-American soldier eager to avenge the Armenian genocide of 1915.