Jazz in the Universe June 9th

Next Thursday June 9th at 7:00pm at the Projects (3614 High Street NE), you can experience a trio of female poetry powerhouses. Along side Sarah McKinstry Brown, who I have already blogged at this link, and Sari Krosinsky, who I will be blogging in a few days, you’ll be able to indulge in the words of Jasmine Cuffee.

The three together are guaranteed to blow your mind and ears. Each one has unique strengths and beauties, and together I suspect the complimentary forces will be powerful.

So let me tell you a little about Jasmine.

A native of Albuquerque’s South Valley, Jasmine Cuffee has been active in the Metro Area arts community for nearly 10 yrs now both as a performance poet and as a former staff member at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and has worked extensively with the youth of Albuquerque and New Mexico in both capacities. Jasmine was a member of the 2004 Poetry Slam team, 2005 Youth Poetry Champion, and 2007 City Slam Champion. As a performance poet and slam poetry champion, Jasmine has led numerous writing workshops and performances throughout New Mexico and the Western U.S. She has appeared in the Bigger Boat Anthology, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Anthology, and ¿De Veras?. She is currently working on her first manuscript Where the Arroyos and Train Tracks Meet which will be the follow up to her first and only chapbook Sunshine and Rapture released in 2007 . When she is not poeting, she manages Public Allies New Mexico, an AmeriCorps program that focuses on leadership development for young adults, strengthening non-profits and communities, and social justice.

What I personally find is that her exuberance is contagious. No matter how complex or difficult the emotions and subject matter of a poem may be, Jasmine exhibits a true joy in life. Every poem is an embrace of possibility. I love this. I am heartened. The world in its mixed bag seems like something to be cherished and held close and given time and respect. I’ve had the luxury to read some of the poems from her manuscript, Where the Arroyos and Train Tracks Meet, and yes, her work is about intersections, disparate forces, families and cities, sky and land, grief and joy, all coming together in a new way that asks you to be fully engaged in life.

And listening, we are fully engaged. Because she’s a consummate performer, as well as wordsmith. And undoubtedly, we are changed.

I love Jasmine’s work and am glad the Local Poets Guild can offer Triptych, so you’ll have a chance to hear a hefty featured set of her voice. Events like this are made possible in part by the generosity of the McCune Charitable Foundation. And Jasmine Cuffee deserves the time and space and we are lucky to be able to listen and afford this opportunity.

So remember: Next Thursday June 9th 7:00 at the Projects 3614 High Street NE. Pass the Hat.

(Triptych, like Verso Quatro, is one of our ongoing literary featured series. Expect three or more per year. Each one features three poets reading for 20 minutes a piece.)

Hope to see you,

Lisa Gill

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