Poets Margaret Randall, Michelle Otero, Isabel Ribe
Date, Time & Location
About the Event
Against Atrocity is a stellar example of contemporary, intelligent protest poetry by a significant writer. Long known and honored for her work throughout the Americas, she is also long admired in the LGBTQ community. Among numerous awards, Randall was awarded the Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett grant for writers victimized by political repression. In 2004 she was the first recipient of PEN New Mexico’s Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Human Rights Activism. In 2017, she was only the second American to be awarded the prestigious Medal of Literary Merit by Literatura en el Bravo, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Nicaraguan poet Daisy Zamora writes: "These poems restore language to its authentic meaning, remind us of the power of words when expressing the truth, and the redeeming potential of poetry in these terrible times." These are indeed terrible times, ones in which we increasingly find ourselves looking to art and creativity to lift us from the unchecked violence, everyday frustration of deaf governance, and an out-of-control profit motive that too often seems to bury us in a dangerous sense of futility. Randall writes as insightfully about the plight of a single woman or child as she does about global warming or the mysteries of aging. In these poems we find more questions than answers, but they are the questions we must continue to ask ourselves in order for our humanity to survive.
Randall's work is being published in Cuba, throughout South America, in Europe and Asia. She is someone who combines the intimate with the international, our small stories with the larger one that shapes us all. Here are poems that pierce complacency's thick skin and provide a road map to agency and hope.
Michelle Otero will be reading new work she's created since becoming Albuquerque Poet Laureate, some centered on the Río Grande bosque, where she co-hosts a monthly series called Walking with Poets. The work addresses both the beauty of the bosque and the threats provoked by development and climate change. These threats, she believes, are rooted in our inability to see ourselves as a part of nature, as part of an ecosystem. In her work, the bosque also becomes a container for the perils faced by our own species, especially those fleeing violence and migrating to the US border, only to face a country that sees them as less than.
Isabel Ribe's Cantos de Ballena: Whale Songs is a lyrical, grounded and descriptive collection of poetry. Many years in the making, this book follows the poet through a variety of themes, including border politics, spirituality, femininity, nature, birth and the legacy of colonialism.