516 ARTS welcomes legendary writer and activist Margaret Randall for a very special evening of conversation celebrating the launch of her new book, Margaret Randall: Artists in My Life (New Village Press). Randall is joined in conversation by Josie Lopez, PhD, Albuquerque Museum Curator of Art, on Thursday, June 30 at 6pm MST in-person at 516 ARTS and livestreamed online. Through twelve chapters and 71 color illustrations, Randall’s book explores the lives and work of artists who have most influenced her. The book cover features a 1960 ink and gouache painting titled “Meg Randall” by Elaine de Kooning.
Margaret Randall is a feminist poet, essayist, oral historian, translator, photographer, and social activist. Born in New York City, she has lived for extended periods in Albuquerque, New York, Seville, Mexico City, Havana, and Managua. In the turbulent 1960s, she co-founded and co-edited El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn, a bilingual literary journal out of Mexico City which for eight years published some of the most dynamic and meaningful writing of an era. She lived among New York’s abstract expressionists in the 1950s and early 60s, shared the rebellion of the Beats, participated in the Mexican student movement of 1968, lived in Cuba during the second decade of the Cuban Revolution (1969-1980), resided in Nicaragua during the first four years of the Sandinista project (1980-1984), and visited North Vietnam during the heroic last months of the U.S. American war there (1974).
Randall has received many honors, including the Haydée Santamaría medal from Casa de las Américas in Cuba and the Poet of Two Hemispheres prize from Ecuador’s Poesía en Paralelo Cero (2019), the Medal of Literary Merit by Literatura en el Bravo, Chihuahua, Mexico (2018), an honorary doctorate in letters from the University of New Mexico (2019), the George Garrett Award by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and the Paolo Friere prize by Chapman University (2020), and most recently, a Creative Bravos Award from The City of Albuquerque (2022), among others.
“Margaret Randall’s Artists in My Life clearly shows how writer can gain sustenance and guidance from the work and lives of a range of visual artists, photographers, and architects. Randall also gives us a glimpse into journeys of her own life — the importance of art, community, place, and politics — providing sustenance and guidance to all of us.”
–Kenny Fries, award-winning author of In the Province of the Gods
Margaret Randall: Artists in My Life will be available for purchase and signing at 516 ARTS.