Let’s Celebrate the Gifts Tanaya Brought Us

Tonight at our east of edith open mic 7:30 pm at the Projects 3614 High St NE (north of candelaria and east of edith through the open garage doors), we have the great pleasure of hearing a full set from Tanaya Winder. Not only is she a prize-winning poet, destined for a full and beautiful career as a writer, but she is someone who keeps supporting others, from Native youth to other poets and writers and our community. When I invited her to serve as the Spring Program Coordinator for Local Poets Guild–she jumped at the chance. I swear within about an hour, she had goals and ideas and line-ups and was raring to go. That was after midnight! And the events turned out to be more inspiring than I could have hoped—and also helped draw lines and make bridges between the spoken word street community and UNM, a rift that is at times far too large.
This reading matters. Help honor the work Tanaya did for our community, the respect she paid to the community by listening to and providing opportunities to other poets: Come out and listen to her read and then thank her. And eat cake!!! I hope to bring one!!! And the ever-generous Rich Boucher will host. And everyone she featured is invited to come back and celebrate also by sharing a cameo poem or two…
Here’s a recap letter from Tanaya:
This spring I had the honor to serve as the Spring Coordinator for the Local Poets Guild. During the month of March I coordinated and hosted a Triptych reading “Bridging Borders” featuring Natalie Scenters-Zapico, David Andrew Talamantes, and Casandra Lopez. During April I co-facilitated a youth creative writing workshop as part of the Indigenous Book Festival held at UNM and also organized the Verso Quatro “Four Poets Talk Mean and Influence People” a reading and discussion panel moderated by Gary Jackson featuring Brian Hendrickson, Jennifer Krohn, Nora Hickey, and Nick DePascal. Finally I hosted a (P)EAR: Poetry and Poetics event with professors Tony Mares and Diane Thiel. Each event inspired and fed my soul. I am thankful for this opportunity the Guild provided me with. The chance to envision what types of events I thought would be interesting and beneficial to other writers in this community taught me so much about where we each find sources of inspiration to write. Different age levels were featured in all of the events and this helped my own personal learning; I realized that as I grow as a person I also grow as a poet in terms of subject matter, mastery of craft, and honing on all those skills in between. Serving in this position made me more hopeful, and perhaps most importantly, more excited about what’s to come for each of us.
Albuquerque, my time here in the city, state, and as a MFA student at UNM has fed my spirit and personal growth as a writer and artistic soul more than I could have ever hoped for. For the readings, the community, the open mics, each of your gifts as fellow artists and writers…for all these things and so much more, I am humbled and grateful.
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