First I'd like to thank Molly Peacock for introducing me to Stacey Harwood. This is a wonderful opportunity.
I'm originally from New York, born and raised, and came to Taos in 2005 when I had a fellowship to the Wurlitzer Foundation. In my three -month stay, I fell in love with the place, its landscape, its horizontalness! Taos' wide gold and green mesas seem to push open your ribs.
There are artists of all kinds here: visual, musical, writers, dancers. The entire town is like an artist's residence, and 2012 was the year of "The Remarkable Women of Taos." That April, myself and another woman organized Remarkable Women Writers of Taos, a two-day, all day event.
As a poet, I have had two books published: A Bell Buried Deep, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize (Story Line Press), soon to be reissued by Tupelo Press; and Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press), winner of the New Mexico Poetry Prize. In addition, I have two chapbooks, No Ordinary Women and 3 Poets for Peace. I am also co-editor of the Taos Journal of Poetry & Art along with poet Cathy Strisik; and Acquistions Editor for 3: A Taos Press, founded by poet Andrea Watson.
Okay, let me say a few words about my current book project: Root Work. The Lost Writings of John Brown and Mary Day Brown. I am a poet interested in history, U.S. history in particular, and within that the burning issues of race and class and gender. So much has been written about John Brown, but so little about his second wife, mother of 13 children, Mary Day Brown. What choices did they make? What was the depth of their relationship to each other? How did Mary Day Brown feel about herself, the world in which she lived? I'm fascinated by the complexity of these two people, both white Abolishionists, who lived surrounded by slavery and who worked with the Underground Railroad, leading enslaved Africans to Canada.
In the epistolary poems I'm working on, I reimagine Mary and John, and cast them alongside Ghost Codes and Runaways. More on this tomorrow.