The late, great bard Brendan Behan was quick-witted when it came to his passions. He quipped that rather than being a writer with a drinking problem, he was a "drinker with a writing problem." If you're a writer, or have spent any time around writers, that sentiment probably strikes a familiar chord. You're not alone. Local slam hero Carlos Contreras is starting a series of spoken word events called I'll Drink to That. The inaugural show takes place at Nexus Brewery (4730 Pan American NE) today from 4 to 6 p.m. and boasts an impressive lineup, including Contreras and newly named Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy. Like poetry but not beer? Good. Everyone loves a designated driver.
Friday, Oct 28: TEDxABQ Women
Thursday, Dec 17: Resolana Luz: Light from Darkness
What the Camera Reveals
Photographer Wes Naman explores New Mexico's identity through portraiture
High Altitude Art
Chatter at The Acropolis
Rhyme and Reason
Urban Verbs trio transforms Voces
Best of Burque favorite Hakim Bellamy named Albuquerque’s first Poet Laureate
Fresh off his third straight Best Poet win in the Alibi’s Best of Burque poll, Hakim Bellamy is now the very first Poet Laureate in the history of Albuquerque. Not too shabby!
In today’s announcement, committee organizer and poetry advocate Don McIver describes the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program as honoring a word artist who “makes meaningful connections, honors and serves our diverse community, elevates the importance of the art form, and shares poetry with Albuquerque residents.” Yup. Bellamy hits all the right check marks.
Find out more about Bellamy’s many projects and the new laureate program at abqpoetlaureate.org.
It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's a bunch of poets in superhero costumes! But seriously, what better way to kick off the Halloween weekend than dressing up as your favorite masked man and listening to the Silver Surfer wax poetic? You may be in for just that if you attend 516 Arts’ Superheroes Poetry Contest Awards Show tonight at 7 p.m. (516 Central SW). In conjunction with the Superheroes: Icons of Good, Evil & Everything in Between show on display through January, 516 Arts staged a poetry contest and is now unveiling its five winners. The evening will be highlighted by feature poet and comic book enthusiast Gary Jackson. Local legend Hakim Bellamy will host and Nora Hickey, Nick DePascal and Bonnie Altamirano will also perform. The event is free and all attendees are encouraged to costume it up. You should go. Attending a poetry reading will make you feel a lot better about your place in society when you're puking black and orange Jell-O shots out of your nose at 3 a.m. Here is one of the winning poems by Gary Glasgow (after the jump):
He flies! And runs with speed no mortal can.
Unloved, because he’s strange and not from Earth
Regrets he, that he’s not of human klan
And can n’er return to the planet of his birth.
His paunch belies the strength within him still
His craggy face reflects the years of toil
A seventy year exercise of his will
An alien seeking justice on our soil.
No thanks received, no treasures offered up
The Planet’s laid him off, no sad goodbyes
Now waiting for the Greyhound bus to stop
No Lois here, no Jimmy. No surprise.
The victories of Youth have well been told
Our heroes, hopes and dreams have gotten old.
An autobiographical hip-hop intersection of Hip-Hop and humanity in five acts
Hakim Bellamy, Carlos Contreras, DJ Diles and Idris Goodwin: heavy hitters from the arts and music scene with many fingers in many pies at all times. Their newest confection, Urban Verbs, is a video, audio and physical performance piece that is dialogued entirely in poetic verse. Bellamy and Contreras play characters and interact, weaving over and under live electronic DJing from Diles—and under the sharp direction of Goodwin. The actor/creators call Urban Verbs an alternative to the brainless, heartless hip-hop of violence and exclusion. The Friday show also has live art creation, an auction and a DJ. Saturday’s show has a keg and musical guests BrokenBreadWinner.
These are bitty bios of the performers:
Hakim Bellamy – two time national champion slam poet, father, rapper, political journalist, community advocate and organizer.
Diles – Professionally certified, passionately motivated sound engineer, producer, beat junkie, rapper, and all around chemist of sound.
Carlos Contreras – Two time national champion slam poet, educator, artist, community organizer and activist, host of the NHCC’s Voces program.
Spread the Words
April is National Poetry Month
Some people hear the word “poetry” and flash back to that grueling week in middle school whern they were forced to dissect and memorize Carl Sandburg’s “Fog.” If that’s you, this month offers a good excuse to reassess: We’re in the first few of a whole 30 days devoted to imaginative, rhythmic, lyrical expression.
Year in Review: Music
Community members share their best music moments of 2010
When I asked a cross section of music-minded locals for their thoughts on the best moments of 2010, I expected more comments like “The new Arcade Fire album.” Silly me. What I got was a nice reminder that our city is host and home to a lot of amazing music and that experiencing it live is both powerfully communal and profoundly personal. These are some choice examples.
Music to Your Ears
Diction and Contra Diction
For a country defined by freedom of speech, America can be alarmingly intolerant when people express themselves. Amiri Baraka knows this firsthand. Over half a century, the award-winning poet, playwright, music critic, political activist and Black Arts Movement founder has stirred controversy and incited criticism for his work. In 2002, for instance, Baraka was named poet laureate of New Jersey and published the poem "Somebody Blew Up America." The poem deals with 9/11, racism and classism. The first stanza, with preface, reads:
Seis Balas: The Solo Sets
Tonight, six New Mexico musicians join forces to create a showcase of solo work. See the indie blues of Alex Maryol, the performance poetry of Hakim Bellamy, the electro-folk of Todd Eric Lovato, the loop station beatboxing of Zack Freeman, the indie folk of Cali Soberanes and the singing/songwriting of Leah Black. The show happens at REVLIS (712 Central), and admission to the all-ages event is $5.