Friday, February 15, 2013

The Perfect Ten In Truchas NM

I needed a way to kick start my poetry, writing from the Navajo reservation in the southwest.  The landscapes can be beautiful and yet I have had trouble relating.

When a bum knee(and another story) made it look like a planned trip to Telluride for skiing was not going to work well for me, I jumped on board for the Perfect Ten Poetry Conference offered by Tupelo Press with editor Jeffrey Levine.

Slight problem.  We needed 20 poems.  I signed up late and had to write at least 10-15 poems in 5 days.   I knew I had a few others I could use for padding but I wanted this to push me to explore life in the west, force me to immerse myself in poetry and place.

So for 5 days...don't talk to me, don't look at noise, please.  The poems were rough and raw but I had not even been to the conference yet and The Perfect Ten in Truchas had already helped me to reach my goal.  I was writing deeply, entrenched in place.

Truchas is a small Spanish village located on the high road to Taos NM.

In the foot hills of the Truchas Peaks.  I cannot think of a more remote, lovely inspiring and rejuvenating environ to write and explore the inward self and the beauty outdoors.

Truchas Peaks Place with a library that took up one entire floor, complete with ladders to access books from floor to chandeliered ceiling was magnificent.    With all the bright nooks and secluded spaces it was difficult to choose which space would be most inspiring to write, read and reflect.  The library of course was usually the choice for group meetings.
Unless we dallied over meals in the dinning room where we were served three creative, savory and unique meals created with fresh ingredients, spices and herbs.  Dinner was always preceded by wine, beer and appetizers... very civilized and writerly.  

Prepared by friendly, enthusiastic caterers.  This is a life I could get used to.

Add to that spacious, plush rooms and a gas fireplace in every space and yes three nights were not enough.

But the real joy at The Perfect Ten of course were the other poets.

Each with their own unique life stories from teaching, the arts, travel and more to inspire and share.

And of course the instructors Jeffrey Levine and Veronica Golos the perfect team, complemented each other in generous, gracious, giving.  They shared their knowledge of poetry and offered critiques with thoughtful care.

I look forward to the next Perfect Ten and many more such conferences from Tupelo Press rumored to be not only in Truchas but possibly in France or Morocco or... the world is open to poetry anywhere.

I may not yet have ten perfect poems but I am off to a confident start with a few favorite lines:

From Learning Home:

You draw my blood with goat heads and I marvel
at their star shape, the sharp night sky in evening
I know your skin smoky with cottonwood and blue corn and tamales.

I am lost in your musk green sage, stark quiet moods, clear and deep subtle turnings.
You: as angry as the slice of a steer's horn in flesh.

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1 comment:

Barbara O'Connor said...

You are so cool. I want to be you when I grow up.