ROCK SPRINGS – Western Wyoming Community College will open its 2015 Visiting Writers Series with an author reading and discussion led by New Mexico Centennial Poet Laureate Levi Romero on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. in Room 1302 on the Rock Springs campus. This event is free and open to the public.
Romero, an Albuquerque native, is the author of the collections A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works and In the Gathering of Silence, and co-author of the new book Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland. In 2012, he was named as the Centennial Poet Laureate of New Mexico.
“Levi Romero is a strange kind of wizard,” according to the Mexican-American poet and novelist Luis Alberto Urrea. “He can walk up a New Mexico arroyo and come back with a mysterious object full of magic, like a rusted tobacco can the grandfathers used to roll their smokes. And when you pry open the lid, you can hear their laughter and gossip coming out. That's what he does in poem after poem. I read his work and I learn again how to love this life.”
Latina American writer Sandra Cisneros says of his work that “the America of Romero's poetry is New Mexico, and not the postcard New Mexico, either, but the real thing spoken from the real poets - old folks in old people's homes, low-riders and farmers, the born-again and the walking wounded. Stories told with a beer at the river, ‘stories... bound to other stories.’ This collection is a testament to the folks whose lives are poems.”
“Levi reveals family life and teenage years, in rhythmic Spanish and in-your-face bilingual English—all levels of language serve the poet,” adds the novelist Rudolfo Anaya. “The spiritual essence of the Rio Grande corridor and its tributaries shines in every poem. From the loco to the sublime, Levi’s poems are a blessing on our heads.”
Romero, who is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Community Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico, will perform his work on Thursday, Jan. 22, as Western begins its annual Visiting Writers Series. He will also offer an author’s workshop that will focus on the art of storytelling. That workshop is scheduled from 1 - 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22 in Room 1302.
Other writers visiting Rock Springs for this year’s series include:
On Thursday, Feb. 12, former Wyomingite Julene Bair, who will read from her latest book, The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning.
On Thursday, Feb. 26, poet and spoken-word artist Rhonda Welsh of Detroit, Mich., who will read from her assorted works, which have been collected in the book Red Clay Legacy, the compact disc release I Saw Myself, and the digital release Raw Clay.
On Thursday, March 26, Western author and editor Teresa Jordan, who has written or edited seven books about Western rural life and culture. Jordan will be accompanied by her husband, Hal Cannon, a musician and folklorist.
All four visiting writers will offer Thursday afternoon workshops as part of a one-credit Creative Writing class (ENGL 2495).
“The idea behind the workshops is simple,” says Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa, MFA, Visiting Writers Series Coordinator. “You go to each one with open ears and an open notebook, and prepare to receive a gift—whatever it is that each writer is bringing to inspire us in our own creative efforts.”
The Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the WWCC English Department and the Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation, with additional support from the Best Western Outlaw Inn and Open Range Restaurant.
For more information on Levi Romero’s visit or the Visiting Writers Series at Western, contact Rick Kempa at email@example.com or at (307) 382-1731.