In partnership with SOMOS The Paseo Project presents “Water is Community,” a storytelling project which has gathered water samples and stories from the watersheds of Taos. Poet Ariana Kramer and four community 'story and water collectors' (Christalyn Concha, Miguel Santistevan, Jim O'Donnell, and Olivia Romo) will gather stories and vials of water from the community to learn what water means to people in Taos.
From April 6-8, the results will be on display at the Encore Gallery of Taos Center for the Arts. An opening reception on April 6 from 4-6pm, will include spoken word and poetry readings. A closing celebration and a water blessing on April 8 will bring all of the water samples together in one vessel to be released into the Rio Grande.
Please join us for this unique event! It is free and open to all. Please see the SOMOS Facebook Page for more information about those involved!
Olivia Romo is from Taos, New Mexico. Being raised in a rural community, she has a strong connection to the land through traditional farming, acequias, and food preservation. She earned her dual Bachelor’s degrees in English and Chicana/o Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2015. Olivia is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at the New Mexico Acequia Association, a grassroots, statewide organization that defends water rights and cultivates an inter-generational movement to protect water resources and educate people about the various aspects of acequia systems. Olivia currently writes and produces the NM Acequia Association quarterly newsletter that reaches over 7,000 farmers and ranchers statewide. Olivia is also a recognized spoken word artist. In 2011, Olivia was titled the New Mexico State Slam Poetry Champion. In 2012, Olivia published an oral history documentation and cook book titled The Gift of Good Food as an entrepreneurial project for the Talpa Community Center in Taos. The book garnered Olivia a Rising Scholar Award from the University of New Mexico. She was also nominated as a “Remarkable Woman of Taos” and “A Woman to Watch” for the 2013 community-wide celebration honoring outstanding Taoseñas. In 2017 Olivia collaborated with 3 renowned poets from the West in the Moving Rural Verse Project produced by the Western Folk Life Center in Elko, Nevada. The series of moving poems powerfully communicate contemporary rural issues, ideas and insight—and, in particular, the subject of water in the West. Olivia has been published in multiple anthologies and environmental magazines titled Malpais Review, Greenhorn’s New Farmers’ Almanac, and scholarly journals from the University of New Mexico.
Sawnie Morris’ collection of poems Her, Infinite was winner of the 2015 New Issues Poetry Award. The judge was Major Jackson, poetry editor of the Harvard Review. Her, Infinite was published by New Issues Press in 2016 and was among four finalists for the Writers League of Texas Book Award for Poetry in 2017. Other recent honors include the 2016 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize (judge: Lee Upton); inclusion in BAX: 2016, Best American Experimental Poetry, online edition (Wesleyan University Press); a feature in the Nov/Dec 2016 issue of Poets & Writers; and new poems in Poetry, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry & Opinion, Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, and Harvard Review’s forthcoming volume, Renga for Obama. Sawnie was a co-founder, with her husband Brian Shields, of Amigos Bravos: Because Water Matters, a 30 year old non-profit advocacy organization for the waters of New Mexico. She is the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Taos, 2018-2019.