Poems explore art, history, love and Northern New Mexico
When Santa Fe-based poet Lauren Camp was invited to be poet-in-residence at Taos' Mabel Dodge Luhan House in 2013, it turns out she was basically just given a free vacation. "The invitation came without any expectations," Camp says. "I didn't have to produce anything if I didn't want to … but I wrote 54 pages of poems. It was nuts!"
That stack of poems has become Turquoise Door, a collection of poetic musings on the early-20th century patron of the arts. "I had no interest in Mabel," Camp says of the book's genesis. But the staff of the Luhan house were eager to feed Camp's growing curiosity about Luhan and the time she lived in New Mexico. The complicated, intelligent, pioneering, stubborn, and perhaps not always likeable Luhan at the center of the book is nothing if not a fascinating study.
The book is thick, both in volume (over 100 pages of poetry) and in substance. At first glance, it's perhaps too dense to enter into. But Camp urges the reader to consider her subject. "Mabel was not always kind, or maybe even decent," Camp says. "But she was remarkable as an early feminist, before there even was such a thing. I think they called her a 'new woman.'"
Camp, like Luhan, grew up in New York State and came to New Mexico as an adult, but she says the parallels that may seem obvious between her and her subject are perhaps a red herring. "I wouldn't say that we are like souls," Camp says. "But it's kind of fascinating to write about someone you think you might not like, or who might not like you. I don't think the book is for Mabel at all. It's more a book exploring her and her time period and what she did, and respecting the positive things she did."
Indeed, the book is not an exaltation of the woman, but more an honest considering of New Mexico: its fraught and beautiful history, and its haunted and pensive present. (Charlotte Jusinski)
Lauren Camp: Turquoise Door
2 pm Sunday Sept. 16. Free.
De Vargas Center,
157 Paseo de Peralta,
Fetch a Flick
Had a ruff week? If you love dogs, you're barking up the right tree with the Bow Wow Film Fest. Visit the CCA's Cinematheque to celebrate the glory, the beauty, the majesty and the absurdity of man's best friend with a litter of short films in a 90-minute film festival. Some are animated, others are live action, but all feature good boys and girls. There's also a silent auction and a reception if you get here early, so fetch your wallet and help support the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. Tickets sold out last year, so get on it. (Layne Radlauer)
Bow Wow Film Festival:
7 pm Thursday Sept. 13. $25.
1050 Old Pecos Trail,
Jump Through Hoops
As anyone who caught hoop dancer Nakotah LaRance's stunning performance at this year's Indian Market fashion show can tell you, the world of hoop dance is full of opportunities for impressive moves. The addition of hoops—which represent the circle of life as well as living beings such as the eagle or butterfly—to traditional Native dancing has a rich history, too, but the art form continues to evolve. Enter the Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers, the award-winning next generation of dancers who embrace tradition while innovating and expanding. Think of it like another great reminder that when it comes to culture around here, we're up there with some of the best. (Alex De Vore)
Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers:
6 pm Friday Sept. 14. Free.
Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino,
20 Buffalo Thunder Trail,
Does everyone remember just a few short years ago when music fans who wanted something more than classic rock covers or country/Americana/folk were pretty much out of luck? Those days have gone, it seems, and a new era of rock 'n' roll excellence has arrived. A lot of it goes down in DIY spaces and house shows, but Second Street Brewery's Rufina Taproom has been knocking it out of the park lately. For example, find (on a Tuesday night, no less) Tuesday Night Draft Punx, a new series that kicks off with three kickass bands, from local indie/mathy act Future Scars to California shoegazers Ridgeway and the smooth indie of NDVRS, one of Santa Fe's newest and most promising projects. Rawk is right. (ADV)
Tuesday Night Draft Punx:
8 pm Tuesday Sept. 18. $5.
Second Street Brewery (Rufina Taproom),
2920 Rufina St.,