WORKSHOPS: Women of the World Poets

at 516 ARTS

WOWPS is a four day poetry festival, in which 72 of the best female poets in the world compete against each other over two nights of preliminary competitions (referred to as “bouts”) . The poets with the top twelve scores from those days move on to Finals, where one poet is crowned the champion!

The 2015 WOWPS will take place in downtown Albuquerque, NM, March 18-21.  Workshops listed below will take place at 516 ARTS and are open to the public.  $3 suggested donation at the door to benefit Women of the World Poets for those without a festival pass.

For more information on Women of the World Poetry Slam 2015 and to purchase tickets for the entire festival, visit


Reading Women Poets/Writing Women’s Lives facilitated by Merimée Moffett

In this workshop participants will listen to and read some fine poems by women, discuss best lines briefly, then try their hand at writing their deepest feelings out: whatever it is that is touching them, wrapping around or holding them. Simple, group inspiration put to good use. 1. Sample poets: Toi Derricote, Yolanda Wisher (Cave Canum fellow), Monica Ferrell, 2.  Participants will take favorite lines, images, sounds, themes, and write their own poems. Prageeta Sharma, and Nuala Ní Dhomoaill—a handout—Read, share, repeat.

Merimée Moffett describes herself as "68, like a bowl of really ripe berries."  Her life is rich with poems, poets, writers, words, nature, beauty, friends, kids n grand-kids, dogs. Her anger has mellowed like butterscotch into softer contours. She is forgiving and impressed with talent and love. Merimée is published here and there and teaches online now to women who really get into it. She encourages people to write and publish, and she has one published book and a few chap books. Her favorite genres are poems and short nonfiction. Merimée also co-hosts an open mic for 3-minute prose.


Cultural Humility and Allyship Discussion w/ Tonya

Tonya Covington introduces the practice of Cultural Humility as an approach to analyze the dynamics of oppression, help participants identify their own privileges, work to develop an understanding of  power dynamics and one’s own role in society. She will also be discussing the role of the artivist in undoing oppression.

"The artivist (artist +activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression—by any medium necessary. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation."
        - M.K. Asante


Community Building and Social Action through Art

At Young Women United, they understand community based artists as critical members of as social justice movements and see art, organizing, and policy work as the collective mechanism through which we create real change our communities can see and feel. In this workshop participants will share how YWU has built ethical relationships (over time) with artists that value their expertise. Participants will talk through the opportunities and barriers of working with community organizations. Together participants will develop concrete strategies how artists and communities can work together to bring the rich histories of our communities to the important work of shifting culture.

Young Women United At Young Women United is a community organizing project by and for young women of color in New Mexico. We believe in the rights of all people to access the information, education, and resources needed to make real decisions about their bodies and lives. We work with women and families to identify issues impacting their lives and collectively organize  and build policy efforts at the intersections of their identities and lived experiences. We believe social change should come from those most impacted by an issue.

For more information on Women of the World Poetry Slam 2015 visit