The Line Broken Oasis Where We Build the City

I am asking Burque poets to send poems about the city that I can use in a performance/talk for Oasis classes for seniors. On October 19th from 10:30 to 12:00, on behalf of Local Poets Guild, I’ll be teaching a class about the literature of the city, and I can say with certainty that one person’s idea how Albuquerque should be rendered in literature is not adequate. I have my ideas–and my favorite’s like  Rudolfo Anaya’s rendering of Jack’s Bar, that infamous hot spot for lit majors and poets… but truthfully, although I’ve been living in New Mexico since I was a stubborn-and-refusing-to-speak 12-year-old, the last almost two decades of my life (post undergrad school) were spent outside of city limits. For this class I’m interested in representing the city itself. Although I moved right smack into downtown Albuquerque a little over a year ago, I feel like I’m still getting my verse up to city snuff.

I need help.

You can help by sending poems specifically about Albuquerque to Localpoetsguild@yahoo.com with “Burque poem” in the subject line and I’ll happily consider teaching them. Moreover, I’ll also consider publishing the top-ones here on the blog. GIVE ME PERMISSION IF IT’S OK TO REPRINT ON THE BLOG.  Cities need representation in literature, and from listening around on the scene, I know that we as a community are doing it. The multitude of voices paints a strong and compelling picture, a picture to rival descriptions of Paris or London, NY or San Francisco. Let’s get Albuquerque on the map by paying attention with our lines and stanzas to what it means to live here, to what we learn, what we love, what sticks in our craw.

And I’m also going to invite any seniors taking the class to share writings they’ve done if they want. The class only costs $7 and should offer a good tour of both areas of the city and also types and styles of poetry. I’m excited to do this. Look forward to sharing.

And I’d be grateful if you’d let me share some of your work with the students, let me indulge and flush out the big picture in a way that makes our town sing.

You can register for the Oct 19 10:30-12:00 class at Oasis here for a mere $7.

Much gratitude,

Lisa Gill

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