Former New Mexico resident Joy Harjo has been named the United States' next poet laureate. Harjo is Mvskoke Creek, making her the first-ever Indigenous person to hold the title. Harjo says she got her start writing for the University of New Mexico's literary magazine, and graduated from that school with a degree in creative writing in 1976 (she also studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts). She later taught at both IAIA and UNM, and one of her students at the latter institution was a promising young scholar named Deb Haaland. Check out some of Harjo's work at the Academy of American Poets.
More problems for Barnes
Every few days, more questionable facts emerge about Rio Arriba Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Barnes, who Tased a 15-year-old student in the chest last month. Turns out now that Barnes is no longer eligible ($ TNM) to be a law enforcement officer; he let his certification lapse. He submitted an application to attend a training program to renew it at the end of May, but the board denied him, citing how he did not disclose that he was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving in the past. Further, KOB found that the officers were issued Tasers before being trained on them.
Crime and punishment?
The parents of a Cleveland High School (that's in Rio Rancho) student have been charged after their child brandished a gun at school. Dale Owen, 62, and Tamara Owen, 48, are charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly knowing their son threatened to shoot up the school, then doing nothing to secure their firearm. Meanwhile, their son Joshua has been in custody for about four months since the shooting, and still has not received mental health treatment.
Growth in kind
Explore the deep history behind a community garden in Española. The Healing Foods Oasis is more than just a place for locals to get food, medicine and dyes for free on the honor system; it is a place of ancestral healing, reconnection to the Earth and mitigation of the environmental impacts of colonialism. Writer Sammy Feldblum has the story for SFR.
Let it shine on me
Folks missing and still salivating over dearly departed Omira Steakhouse may be able to rest easier. Hilltop Bar & Grill up at The Lodge at Santa Fe (yeah, remember The Lodge?) has added Brazilian barbecue to its menu ($ TNM). Hilltop's chef Miguel Quintana is an Omira alum, and it sounds like he knows what he's doing. For the uninitiated: You turn on your meat-light and servers just keep bringing skewers over till you tap out. This may have to be added to the Word's food calendar.
This story isn't specifically related to New Mexico, but we certainly experienced the phenomenon: Did you survive The Great Target Cash Register Glitch of 2019? Thoughts & prayers. The mega-retailer's internal tech hiccupped on Saturday for about two hours, leaving shoppers stranded with full carts, presumably melting ice cream and open wallets. It's estimated that the event cost the retailer $50 million. To add insult to injury, on Sunday, an unrelated problem made the retailer unable to process credit cards for about 90 minutes. So, basically, signs of the apocalypse.
What to do…
Looking for a snack or some culture in the next few days? Our food writer checked out Jimmy D's, the new diner-style restaurant in Garrett's Desert Inn (where Santa Fe Bite used to be), and really loved it (even if she was a bit blinded by the decor). Also, saunter on over to Gerald Peters Projects, the sprawling gallery on Paseo de Peralta, for a number of shows up now that are super cool, plus five more opening Friday. And don't forget the Row-day-oh Day Santa Fay (the rodeo, people, the rodeo) starts its 70th year today, so if you're into corn-based foods and Western games ($ TNM) and whatnot, you can check that out.
Gettin’ hot in here
Thanks for reading! The Word is still reeling about this Joy Harjo news. It's almost enough to forgive her for taking 20 minutes just to tune her saxophone at a group reading where she had five minutes total to read, circa 2005 or so.