Welcome the new LPG Co-Artistic Director
Last year LPG helped book 110 events ranging from workshops to showcases and features and open mics. We did outreach with Globalquerque, 516 Arts, Burque Bioneers, the Albuquerque Cultural Conference, The Roost and more. We also ran a weekly open mic with feature, offered craft talks, and a variety of featured readings and workshops. There is such a strong poetry community here that the growth and outreach was natural and over 70 different poets were featured. It was truly a beautiful year. I actually put together an annual report (our first ever!!!) which I’ll have available at events, and I’ll also mail a pdf of the report to our list serve.
So I took some time off during the winter, largely because our primary venue had no heat, but also to regroup and do some planning. So after looking back at last year and also looking forward, I’ve been busy for the last few months doing lots of behind the scenes work, including building a reading room and archive at the Projects, doing some grant writing, and also working on some fairly major restructuring of how the organization is going to run. One of the major changes we’ve implemented is to bring on board a co-artistic director. I’m extremely excited about this.
I’m pleased to announce that Don McIver, who has a tremendous legacy of serving the poetry community here, will be coming on board as a full partner to help run Local Poets Guild. While my focus is page, his is stage. I expect him to coordinate and also offer classes in performance and developing solo shows. He’s also tremendous at marketing, has a great calm level head, is deeply dedicated, and knows the ins and outs of Albuquerque’s rich poetry scene. I expect great things. Already, he is Local Poets Guild’s new liason to Sunday Chatter (formerly Church of Beethoven) and is doing all those bookings. He’ll also be helping me with all the behind-the-scenes work, like grants and coordination of various special projects.
Here’s a bit more about Don: Basic Human Needs Award winning poet, Don McIver is a four time member of the ABQ slam team, an award winning host/producer of KUNM’s Spoken Word Hour, the author of The Noisy Pen, and editor of A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene. He’s performed all over the United States, produced, curated, and hosted poetry events big and small including the Bravos Award Winning 2005 National Poetry Slam, and been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including the Harwood Anthology, Shine On You Crazy Diamond: Poems by Teens and their Mentors, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Anthology, Poems from the Big Muddy: NPS 2004, Looking Back to Place, How to….Multiple Perspectives on Creating a Garden, a Life, Relationships and Community and the Fixed and Free Poetry Anthology. He’s a teacher by trade at Central New Mexico Community College, where he also manages the tutoring center. He’s given presentations on the uses of Spoken Word for the College Reading and Learning Association National Convention, and performed at the Tucson Poetry Festival, the Colorado Performance Poetry Festival, the 3SidedWhole, and Solofest.
More from both Don and I very soon. For now, my tremendous gratitude to him for coming on board and I’m looking forward to a great year.
Next up: I’m going to introduce and welcome our new Spring Program Coordinator, Tanaya Winder.