On the long, scarred table under the west window at the left of the front door, always open day and night out on the lawn portal, there were a couple of rows of books, one in front of the other, the new books that will presently be shifted out to the book room. Such a mixture, too! The last mystery story, the last scientific premise, the last mystical doctrine, the last hard-boiled novel, and all the new books friends have sent this year with tender inscriptions in them.
|Veronica Golos. Photo by Lenny Foster.|
Veronica Golos is the author of Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award. Veronica also wrote A Bell Buried Deep, co-winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize (Story Line Press). Her work has been widely published and anthologized nationally and internationally. Veronica was awarded residencies at the Wurlitzer Foundation and a Creative Woman Fellowship by A Room of Her Own, among others. Her book, A Bell Buried Deep, was adapted for stage in New York’s Theatre Row, and at Claremont Theological Seminary in California. Veronica has lectured on “How to Teach Poetry to Young Children” at Hunter College, the Teacher’s College of Columbia University and at Colorado State University. She’s been the poet-in-residence at Sacred Heart Academy in Connecticut, and at the former Yaxche School in Taos.Veronica is co-editor of the newly launched Taos Journal of Poetry & Art, and the Acquisitions Editor for 3:A Taos Press. A lifelong activist for social justice, humanitarian and peace causes, Veronica uses her poetry not only to interpret and question but “to challenge and act.”
|Cover image, sculpture by Conrad Cooper*|
WarriorPoem from Vocabulary of Silence courtesy of Veronica Golos
My past washes back, a low tide,
a haunting song.
Like the zing of the arrow
sound has a shape.
Flesh. There will be war.
Witness. Stand on the field
as the ones who are already dead
need you to. Stare. Never let go.
One can not measure
death. I know--
I am the one who cuts--broken
as the edge of your cup.
See--the bow I have become, the bones, the arrow--
man, but not a man.
|Bonnie Lee Black. Photo by Lenny Foster.|
|Lise Goett. Photo by Judith Bishop.|
Poet Carolyn Forché reviewed Lise's first poetry collection:
This exemplary first collection is the lyric record of a contemplative spirit's going-forth, of her soul's discernment, the experience of personal and intimate communion, erotic passion and divine mystery, corporeal hunger and 'naught else but yearning' for the mysterium tremendum. There is a radiance about these poems, and a supplicant's willingness to lay bare the desire enshrined in her very selfhood. For this poet, music is the soul's correlative, the sheath that allows the journey to be borne.
LabyrinthLook up. Your life is suddenly ending–the pages yellow, the lamplight yellow–the face of someone you love the haloof autumn burning. The wending white stringwhich has taken you down so many corridorsis Ariadne’s thread through the darkness.Outside, the beast is shaking its harness.Look up from the cracks in yourbrown leather shoes into a room where someoneis working an acrostic that always spells winter,snow falling thick on the serpentine walk, white wickerchairs in a state of surrender. These are the leesof the thoughts you can’t master–the streetan archipelago numbed.
copyright The Paris Review, 2001
Poem from Waiting for the Paraclete courtesy of Lise Goett
|Summer Wood. Photo by Miriam Berkley|
Author of two novels, Arroyo (Chronicle Books) and Raising Wrecker (Bloomsbury), Summer Wood's non-fiction work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler and other venues. In 2007 she was awarded the $50,000 Literary Gift of Freedom from A Room of Her Own Foundation. During her award period, Summer worked on Raising Wrecker, published in 2011. Her book received the 2012 WILLA Award for Contemporary Fiction from Women Writing the West. Summer considers it an honor to join the distinguished list of previous awardees, including Annie Proulx, Pam Houston and Debra Magpie Earling. Raising Wrecker—newly released in paperback—reaped other recognition: a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, a BookBrowse Editors’ Choice, and a UK Booksellers’ Choice. Summer teaches writing to adults at the University of New Mexico’s Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. She currently serves as Executive Editor at Voices from the American Land.
After unexpectedly foster-parenting four young siblings, Summer Wood tried to imagine a place where kids like these would find the love and the family they deserved. For her, that world is realized through a boy named Wrecker, the central character in her second novel.
One-sentence synopsis: Set amid the giant trees of Northern California’s magical Lost Coast, Raising Wrecker is a rich and rollicking novel for anyone who has ever raised a son, or loved someone else’s. Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, deemed Summer's novel "a love song to well-intentioned, wholly dedicated, and deeply flawed motherhood. It's a big-hearted, big-loving compassionate book.”
About The Sounds a Raven Makes: Sawnie Morris of Taos, Michelle Holland of Chimayó, and Catherine Ferguson of Galisteo are three poets of rural northern New Mexico who share a deep language of landscape and grounded life. These women have given to their communities and paid some mighty poetic dues. This book came out of patience and time, but its pages are a necessary bliss.
Poem from The Sound a Raven Makes courtesy of Sawnie Morris.The Watery Sound a Raven MakesThe soul picks and threadson a day bright with cloudlessness,wind, and a cottonwoodtrailing its fingers in feathery currentsvoid of water or rain, though a sally of ravenscaresses the air. Obsidian wingsflapping their skirts. Round dance in blue,sky-filled quadrille. Inversion. Ellipsis:trapeze without wire, without net.Euclidian tip of a hat. Birdsentranced by tutelary gossip.Mail box. Billboard. Garbage bin.Their cackle and caw is rainin the mind of the desert.Uneven chatter of droplets.Gardens thirsty and shy.Large black birdsof middle-morning, circle.Rock. Fence. Dirt. Wind.Anguish of drought.Passion of rain.
These women contribute to the literary and educational landscape of Taos--and the wider world. And to my reading pleasure. I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for a "thumping good read." In the rush of the holiday season, I hope you'll find "oasis time" for reading over a fragrant cup of coffee or tea. I invite you to put these Taos women writers on your book lists. I rate them all as good reads.
Adios for now,
*Sculptor Conrad Cooper lives in Taos.