Poetry Month: Not Just for Poets Anymore

This April, SOMOS is hosting its 3rd Annual Poetry Month Series. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday there will be readings at 7:00 PM. All events are free. Please Note: Due to flooding in the SOMOS office, all readings will now take place at Op Cit Bookstore in the John Dunn shops.

Each night is a thoughtful mélange of artists, both musicians and poets. Veronica Golos—local poet, and curator of this month’s events—knows the poets and their work well. Well enough to know exactly how to arrange this large group of individual talents into nights that are intimate and provocative for the audience. She hopes that as the truly varied experiences and cultural backgrounds of the authors come out through their work, audiences will feel connections, observe tensions and be surprised by the conversations between pieces. When artists come together to share their work with an audience, that is an act of creation in and of itself, Veronica remarked to me. The audience will remember experiencing those pieces in relationship to one another, the way one remembers standing in a room full of paintings.

The lives and backgrounds of the performers are different, but in one variable they are the same. With only one exception, all thirty two live in New Mexico. About half live here in Taos. These numbers are not an accident. Veronica was keen to show the abundance of serious, talented poets here in Taos. Poets from Santa Fe also make up a significant portion of the program. She thinks of Santa Fe as a cousin city whose literary culture is bonded to ours, to the benefit of both.

With poets not only reading, but hosting, singing and playing music as well, this event is truly by poets, for poets. But being a poet or even being interested in poetry isn’t the only reason to attend this event. Its curator is well aware of the widespread resistance to poetry. “We all got ruined for poetry in middle school,” Veronica observed. And she assured me that this Poetry Month series will have none of the snobbery or pretension that made poetry so repulsive to so many of us in our early years. “These are people who have honed their craft and have something to say,” she said, “something to say about life.”

To that end, this is not just a literary event. Veronica was excited to include some musicians this year. She is eager for people to experience the instinctual bridge that music creates between audience and performer alongside the more literal bond that words create. It is also a community event: husband, wife and their mutual friend get up on stage to read and play music (Robin, Lee and Ned on 4/23), three classmates share the Fairy Tale Persona Poems they wrote in a workshop Veronica taught (Kathleen, Stella and Tina, 4/16).

Poetry isn’t just something a stranger does in a vacuum; it’s a part of our cultural evolution. Or as Veronica said so succinctly, “Poetry goes under the rib.”
poetry month


Again, all events have been moved to Op Cit Bookstore on the John Dunn shops.


 WEEKEND FOUR: April 29 – 30


Veronica Golos hosts Bruce McIntosh (Taos), Jane Lin (Los Alamos), and Colleen Carias (Santa Fe).


Sawnie Morris hosts the closing event, featuring new books and new poems from Lauren Camp (Santa Fe), Will Barnes (Santa Fe), and of course our own Veronica Golos.


Learn more and find details on each event at www.somotaos.org. For more information, call 575-758-0081.