SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of May 15

From literary giants to a bicycle revolution

So Lit

Santa Fe International Literary Festival hits year three with another slew of notable wordsmiths

Even a cursory glance at the crop of writers scheduled to appear at the upcoming third annual Santa Fe International Literary Festival reveals a murderers’ row of exciting contemporary novelists, poets, essayists, thinkers, storytellers and all-around titanic writers.

We’re talking scribes like David Grann, Julia Alvarez, Jesmyn Ward, Anne Lamott, Douglas Preston, Natalie Goldberg, Hampton Sides, Tommy Orange (whom you can read about in more detail on page 26), Jenn Shapland, Luci Tapahonso…and it only goes on from there. You might notice a number of Santa Fe and New Mexico writers within their ranks, and this is intentional, according to the fest’s co-founder and Executive Director Clare Hertel.

“We’ve always wanted to feature the best of New Mexico, and it shakes out to be about 40 percent of the authors,” Hertel tells SFR. “And really, the credit for the curation goes to the festival’s Carmella Padilla and Mark Bryant.”

Co-founder Padilla—an accomplished writer in her own right—will also serve as emcee for many of the festival’s events and says there’s something about Santa Fe that makes putting the fest together easier than you’d think.

“This is something new on the circuit, so people are interested in what we’re doing, but it’s very heartening that people have responded so quickly,” Padilla says. “I think there’s an automatic draw to Santa Fe—whether they’ve been here in the past before or not, Santa Fe speaks for itself; the implication being that you’re going to get a high-quality cultural event here.”

Also excellent? This year’s fest was designed with youths, educators and librarians in mind, and anyone from those cohorts, Hertel notes, can simply pick up free tickets through the website’s ticketing page.

“We decided to give away about 1,500 tickets this year,” Hertel says, “and we’ve given away about 750 so far.”

Other festival events include a free Skype appearance from Circe author Madeline Miller as part of the Santa Fe Public Library’s Big Read program, book giveaways, a community stage for fledgling writers and more. (Alex De Vore)

Santa Fe International Literary Festival: Various times Friday, May 17-Sunday, May 19. Prices vary.

A Timely Affair

Though the world changes, much stays the same. In iconic playwright David Mamet’s Oleanna from the New Mexico Actors Lab, a sexual harassment accusation opens a can of worms through which university professor John and his student Carol must sift. Mamet reportedly worked on 1992′s Oleanna both before and during the 1991 televised Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Consider the Anita Hill harassment accusation, the number of years that have passed with little done to stem the machinations of powerful men—this play is just as relevant some decades later as it was when it premiered. Geoffrey Pomeroy and Emily Rankin star with direction from Suzanne Lederer. (ADV)

Oleanna: 7:30 pm Wednesday, May 15-Saturday, May 18; 2 pm Sunday, May 19. $15-$35. The Lab Theater

Holy Moly

Santa Fe’s storied DIY scene stays relevant this week with a performance/album release from Holy Garden District, the most mighty and enjoyable three-piece combination of Ben Clary, Dylan McDowell and Cole Bee Wilson. Each has done plenty via solo projects and with bands like Future Scars; together on the new album Ghost Rent, they become a bizarre yet magnetically enjoyable coming-together of rock, emo, surf, country and instrumental experimentalism. “We wrote three songs each and just kind of went from there to varying degrees,” Clary says. “I will sometimes call it ‘music school dork music,’ but it’s more of a blank canvas for people to listen to and project what they hear onto it.” (ADV)

Holy Garden District: 7 pm Friday, May 17. $10-$15. Ghost, 2889 Trades West Road, instagram.com/ghost_santafe

Bikes ‘n’ Books

Each May, Bike Month in Santa Fe becomes that wonderful time of the year when the residents break out the velocipedes and zizz down the street on two wheels. And though you’ll find no shortage of bicycle-related happenings through the bikesantafe.org calendar, this week’s Urbanist “Book” Club event sounds particularly interesting. A no-read-necessary gathering, the topics for discussion is twofold: local bike lanes and accessibility—or lack thereof—and 2016′s Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan, who during her tenure from 2007 to 2013 transformed sections of NYC streets into safer bike/pedestrian zones. “Mostly what I want is to meet cool people who are interested in this,” event organizer Pat Feghali says. “I also want them to meet each other, so when there are actionable things to do, we already know each other.” (ADV)

Urbanist “Book” Club: 6-8 pm Monday, May 20. Free. Boxcar, 133 W Water St., (505) 988-7222

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