As a former student of theater at UNM, I vividly recall the excitement generated by the Words Afire Festival. It meant an opportunity for more aspiring actors to get stage time and budding playwrights to see their works actually performed. Months of preparation madness followed by weeks of performances created a draining, frenzied chaos worth every moment. Words Afire is a boon to the Albuquerque theater scene and we're lucky to have it. This year's festival opens on Thursday, April 17, with Pajaros de Mi Sangre: My Blood Birds by Don Garcia at Rodey Theatre and The Feather by Mars Mråz at Theatre X. Tickets to all shows at Rodey are $15 general, $10 seniors and $7 students, and $10 general, $8 seniors and $7 students at Theatre X, available at the UNM ticket office (925-5858). Keep an eye on the Arts Calendar for a complete list of all Words Afire productions or visit wordsafire.unm.edu. Support our university's theater program—it cultivates the future of performance art in our city.
Now here is a subject one doesn’t see poetry address all that often—especially with such a warm, complicated embrace. To Philip Schultz, recent co-winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, failure is not a pejorative but a state of being. Try to appreciate the bounty of the world, several of these poems suggest, and you will likely fail; try to ignore it and you will fail as well.