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Poetry Café Bellas Artes Announces Inaugural Season

Libbe Dennard, Ken Morrow, Laura Juliet Woord, photo by Sallie Kravetz

By Maia Williams

Poetry Café Bellas Artes invites poets, aficionados, and the curious to attend the inaugural presentation of the series, which will feature three accomplished San Miguel poets on Tuesday, January 19, at 5 pm. Laura Juliet Wood, Ken Morrow, and Libbe Dennard will share lyrical and lively works in Sala Literaria, located in Bellas Artes. These poems will not resemble the dry lines you were forced to memorize in high school!

The monthly series (January-April; August-December, 2016) will feature local and visiting poets—established and emerging—sharing their work in a casual setting. The founding advisory committee members, pictured here, responded with enthusiasm to my appeal for help to launch a series of public readings devoted exclusively to poets and their original work.

San Miguel de Allende has welcomed and inspired countless poets including luminaries Mary Oliver, Richard Blanco, Sandra Cisneros, Sam Hamill, Joy Harjo, David Whyte, Ellen Bass, W.D. Snodgrass, Patricia Goedicke and Neal Cassady. Operating under the auspices of the San Miguel Literary Sala, the goal of the Poetry Café is to continue this longstanding tradition of celebrating poets and the fine art of poetry.

Laura Juliet Wood, originally from Pensacola, Florida, holds a BA in Creative Writing from Hollins University and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She has lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for 17 years. Her translations of prose and poetry in Spanish have appeared in Mexico City’s The Ofi Press and the anthology Solamente en San Miguel, Volumes I and II. Most recently her poems have been published by SOL magazine, Haibun Today, Crab Creek Review, The Hollins Critic, The Los Angeles Review, The Atlanta Review, Minerva Rising and West Marin Review, All Hands Lost published by Finishing Line Press in 2013, is Laura’s first book of poems. She lives with her husband John Wood and their daughter Caroline and is expecting twins in the spring.

Ken Morrow has plied the arts of sculpture, painting, furniture-making, candle-making, carpentry, bartending, and has nearly accomplished his goal of retiring from architecture so he may translate his lifelong interest in reading poetry to writing poetry. He spends his days in San Miguel with his partner, ceramic sculptor Elaine Grenier.

Ken has written classical music program notes for a chamber music group in Chicago and for the San Miguel Chamber Music Festival. His manuscript is nearing completion and is provisionally titled “Uncertainty Principle,” addressing issues of the human capacity—or incapacity—for knowing.

Libbe Dennard, poet and memoirist, begins each day with stillness and a new poem. Her inspirations are Emily Dickinson, Billy Collins, and Judyth Hill.

Libbe’s first collection of poetry, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014. She has also completed the tale of her spiritual journey, which included six months of yoga study in South India. Recently, she has reinvented herself as a graduate student of creative writing.

A mid-life move to Alaska led to meeting Lee Harris, her soul mate and husband of twenty years. Libbe and Lee live in San Miguel.

Please arrive a few minutes early. Seating is first come, first served. Coffee and tea will be available.


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