Culture Shock

Predicting The President-Elect

Amy Dalness
3 min read
Gene Grant
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Leading up to the Nov. 4 election, the Vortex Theatre hosted an evening of eight 10-minute plays by local playwrights called Electoral Dysfunction. In honor of the democratic process, audience members were asked to vote for their favorite play. After a meticulous count of every vote, the theater electoral college has determined a winner. Playwright and Albuquerque Journal columnist Gene Grant gets the $500 cash prize for his play "Enter on the Execution," which follows President-elect Barack Obama into a private White House restroom before his inaugural address, where he encounters a janitor who’s seen many presidents walk through those bathroom doors. Grant picked the president-elect long before Election Day—wonder if the bathroom encounter will manifest as well.

Culture Shock Poetry Battle Royale

Slam poetry could be considered a competitive sport here in Albuquerque. We’ve got a passion for the slam and the slam loves us back. This Saturday, Nov. 15, slam teams from New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Oklahoma will converge on Winning Coffee Co. (111 Harvard SE) for the Wild West Regional Poetry Slam . The top teams from this battle royale will advance in qualification for the National Poetry Slam in Del Ray, Fla., in August 2009. The main event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all ages with a $5 donation at the door. For details, visit

Culture Shock Raising With Rugs

Friends of the UNM Press launched its $5 million endowment campaign last May to allow UNM Press to publish children’s, fine arts and photography books while maintaining its independent status. To aid its cause, UNM Press is hosting a public auction of nearly 200 Navajo rugs in support of publishing books by or about Native Americans. The auction will be conducted by R. B. Burnham Native Auctions at Prairie Star Restaurant (288 Prairie Star Road, Bernalillo) on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 3:30 p.m. with a preview of the rugs from 1 to 3 p.m. Ninety percent of the sale price for auctioned rugs will go to the weavers; the remainder will go to UNM Press. Visit for more info.

Culture Shock Ready To Clown

Courtney Cunningham, aka Poofy du Vey, is ready to give her clowning to the world. Cunningham, having relocated to the Southwest from New York City, is offering an introduction to clowning class with a focus on the “sacred clown”—a much more personal and less cartoonish version than most people are used to. The class will be on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22 and 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop is $140 (student and starving-artist rates available) and is open to any experience level. For info and to register, e-mail No foolin’.
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