516 WORD

Reading: 516 WORDS Literary Series

Friday, September 29, 7pm
at 516 ARTS, Free

516 ARTS announces the revival of our literary arts series called 516 WORDS, now under the leadership of Don McIver. Started in 2007 by poet Lisa Gill, the series has been on hiatus for few years. Through 2018, 516 WORDS readings will take place every 5th Friday at 516 ARTS in Downtown Albuquerque. Each reading is inspired by the theme of the exhibition on view in the gallery and features three to five poets who are invited to participate.

The first reading in this new incarnation of the program will take place Friday, September 30 at 7pm. It is in conjunction with the exhibition Cross Pollination, about bees and other pollinators. Plants and pollinators have evolved together over thousands of years, and a large percentage of the food that humans eat depends on pollination. 516 ARTS Literary Arts Coordinator Don McIver says, “Everyone is invited to this reading in the spirit of bees and pollinators. Inspired by the cross pollination of ideas in the poetry hive of Albuquerque, the featured poets explore the interconnectedness of humans, plants and animals in relation to climate change and the future of life on Earth.”

Thanks to the vision of the series’ founder Lisa Gill, 516 WORDS became a destination for some of the highest quality poetry events in the state. Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director of 516 ARTS, says, “I am so happy to reconnect with Don McIver and have him on board to reboot our poetry and literary arts
events. The subjects of our exhibitions are all about what feels relevant in the here and now, so 516 WORDS will reflect that in an interdisciplinary way.”

About the Poets:
EBONY ISIS BOOTH is a 2006 National Poetry Slam Champion and recipient of Westword’s Mastermind Award in Literary Arts for her work as hostess of Café Nuba. Since relocating to Albuquerque in early 2015, Isis has continued to fuel her drive toward art-ivism as Programs & Communications Coordinator for the Harwood Art Center while simultaneously writing and performing original poetry and prose, heralding social justice, self-love and perseverance.

DAMIEN FLORES received a BA in English and Chicano Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2009 and received the 2008 Lena Todd Award for creative nonfiction from the UNM English Department. He is the author of Junkyard Dogs (West End Press), and he was named “Poet of the Year” in 2007 & 2008 by the New Mexico Hispano Entertainer’s Association. Flores is best known as a member of the ABQ Poetry Slam Team as well as the two-time National Champion UNM Loboslam teams.

TANI ARNESS has had her work published in numerous literary magazines including North American ReviewRed Rock Review, and in Crab Orchard Review. Since completing her Master’s in Creative Writing, she remains dedicated to finding the beauty, spirit, and surprise in the intersection of words and living.

COLBY GATES grew up in an impossibly small town in west Texas. He received a B.A. in creative writing and literature from Santa Fe University of Art and Design in 2013, and a fellowship from The Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets at Bucknell University. He is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of New Mexico. His work often deals with the intersections of religion, sexuality and
place.

About the Organizer: 
DON MCIVER began producing poetry shows in Albuquerque 20 years ago at the former Blue Dragon
Coffeehouse. Since that time, he has been a poet/coach on six ABQ Slam Teams, and an award winning host/producer of KUNM’s Spoken Word Hour and Afternoon Freeform. He is the author of The Noisy Pen and The Blank Page, editor of A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene, and his work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Winner of a Basic Human Needs Award, McIver has performed all over the United States and has produced, curated and hosted poetry events large and small including the Bravos Award Winning 2005 National Poetry Slam.

516 WORDS is made possible in part by Beyond Poetry, LLC. Founded in 2012, Beyond Poetry LLC is focused on creating intersectional and interdisciplinary creative experiences in community. It has brought poetry performances and writing workshops to schools, jails, hospitals, churches, nursing homes, and colleges and at least five countries. Building community one word at a time.
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