For many, poetry feels inaccessible. As a teacher, Chelsea Bunn hopes to share that poetry doesn't have to be “abstruse or inaccessible,” but instead a vehicle to find greater understanding of both ourselves and the world around us.
Jeanne Shannon, born on a farm in Virginia, will be at Page One Books at 3pm on Sunday, May 15, to talk about and sign her book of poetry and prose, Summoning.
The book is described as such: "A collection of poems and hybrid works that hover at the boundary between poetry and prose, and that range from the abstract and experimental to the concrete and accessible. Employing imagery that is vivid and frequently surprising, the author addresses subjects that include the natural world (especially the plant kingdom), art and music, the dreamlike regions of memory, and the mysterious—the 'dissolving forms' that tell us the world is stranger than we might suppose. In the title poem and others, she summons recollections of her early life in 1940s southwestern Virginia, 'the heart of Appalachia.'"
Shannon was born on a snowy morning on a farm in southwestern Virginia, “the heart of Appalachia,” when the Sun was in Aquarius and the Moon was in Taurus. She has lived in the west (Arizona and New Mexico) for most of her adult life. She writes poems that she characterizes as paintings—often impressionistic, sometimes abstract. It's hard to find one that does not contain a reference to a member of the vegetable kingdom, be it tree, weed or flower. She is pleased to claim Robert Beverley, historian of early Virginia whose name appears in Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Painting by Georgia O'Keeffe, as a maternal ancestor.
: (n.) The pain experienced when the place where one resides or one loves is under immediate assault
By Maggie Grimason
Maggie Grimason interviews Demian DinéYazhi' and Jess X. Chen, two multi-disciplinary artists probing with their words the hurts of ongoing environmental degradation, colonization and the myriad injustices that thousands of people struggle against daily.
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to two artists visiting (or soon-to-be visiting) Albuquerque: Jess X. Chen and Gregg Deal.
Jess X. Chen is a multi-disciplinary artist whose mediums include video, mural work, paintings and poetry. She will be visiting the Tannex with Demian DinéYazhi as part of their joint poetry tour: Solastalgia.
Here is where I will begin to flood you with an immersive multimedia experience. Not only can you read interviews (that I got to conduct (!) *straightens tie*) in upcoming issues of the Alibi, but you can watch these artists speak out on important issues on alternately funny and cerebral platforms.
Jess X. Chen recently delivered her first TED Talk about migration as imagination. Enriched by her poetry, her talk is visceral and powerful.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Gregg Deal, an artist from Colorado who not only premiered his first short film at last weekend's Rezilience, but threw up a mural at the Peace and Justice Center of Leonard Peltier.
Gregg works in a multitude of public art mediums--murals, performance art and more. His works are visual pieces of activism and always express his Indigenous heritage. He is an outspoken critic of the Washington Redskins racist mascot and participated in a great, biting panel for The Daily Show on the topic.
You can watch both of these artists do their things in the videos above.
You can also watch Jess X. Chen perform her poetry on Monday, May 9 (along with Demian! And a performance by the brilliant Discotays) and also get thee to the Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard Dr. SE) to see Gregg's mural on the west facing wall. Inside, you can buy shirts with the same images, the proceeds from which will go to the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee.