SOMOS is securing a permanent place for words in Taos –
and we're three-quarters of the way home!


Join SOMOS for a
Heading HomeWORD Party
in partnership with The Taos News

August 19, 2018
5:30-7:30 pm
SOMOS, 108 Civic Plaza Drive

Music by Ricky & the Re-Rites
Words by Rick Romancito, Anne MacNaughton & Phyllis Hotch
Savories by Dragonfly
Wine & beer by The Cellar & Favorite Brands
$25 per person
(Purchase by August 13!)

Learn more about SOMOS's Capital Campaign to be mortgage-free by 2019!


Sawnie Morris - Taos Poet Laureate: Jan 2018

SOMOS and the Town of Taos are pleased to announce the selection of the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Taos, Sawnie Morris. The Poet Laureate initiative, created by SOMOS in conjunction with the Town of Taos, will raise awareness of Taos as a national center for the contemporary literary arts, in keeping with the area’s historic importance as a gathering place for prominent writers and artists.

Morris will attend a Town Council meeting on January 23, 2018, along with SOMOS Director, Jan Smith, who will announce the Poet Laureate Position. Morris will share a poem with Mayor Barrone and Town Council members, as well as the public-in-attendance.

The Inaugural Taos Poet Laureate is a nationally recognized poet, whose full-length collection of poems, Her, Infinite won the 2015 New Issues Press Poetry Award, (judge: Major Jackson). Other recent honors include Poets & Writers “Five Over Fifty” (2016); the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize (2016); inclusion in Best American Experimental Poetry: 2016 (Wesleyan University Press), Renga for Obama (Harvard Review, 2016), and Poetry (2017). Morris also received a Poetry Society of America Award in 2010 and was co-winner of the New Mexico Book Award for poetry, in 2007.

With funding from the Witter Bynner Foundation and with approval from the Town of Taos, SOMOS recruited four judges and announced open applications in October, 2017, for the inaugural Taos Poet Laureate position to begin a two year term on January 1, 2018. After review of the applications, which included three poems and a vision statement for the position, the judges selected Morris, in mid-December, 2017. The four judges included Ceramic Sculptor artist: Deborah Rael-Buckley; Middle School teacher and Town Councilman: Nathaniel Evans; Director of the UNM Library: Kathleen Knoth; and musician/artist/writer: Joshua Concha. 


SOMOS Young Writers Salon collaboration with STEMarts@ThePASEO

For Youth Ages 12 to 18

“Who are the monsters in your life?”

Write about the monsters you know.
Record your poem at Cultural Energy Radio
The winning entry will be presented at Paseo Party on the Plaza September 23, 2017


Monsters Real Monsters

When I was little

I used to be afraid of a monster I

believed was living in my closet

beady glaring eyes watching me in the dark like

headlights on highbeam glaring out into the night

enveloping you like a blanket of tar

I’d imagined his growl would sound like the crumbling of

a building.

Thinking about it used to make me cry

my family would always comfort me by saying that

monsters weren’t real

but then I grew up

and I still saw monsters real monsters but in

different things

I saw monsters in the sound of breaking glass

I saw monsters in the shadows of the hallway

I saw them in the needle my mother used

See when you grow up

monsters are no longer the boogey man with

sharp teeth and deadly claws

monsters are the man who came into my life

and treated me like the dolls they use in courtrooms

people who take advantage of you

as if my chest was a windshield

and his fist a baseball bat

monsters are people who have the audacity to

steal the very thing that makes your heart

flutter and tack its wings to their wall

monsters don’t need big gaping jaws to kill you

in most cases all they need is your name

see people don’t grow out of monsters

but you can grow into them.

By A Youth at DreamTree Project


My stars and stripes

lurk behind every corner.

A reminder that they thought we were always different.

Dirty, in some way,

made us poorer than the church mice that

colonized us.

We came here looking

for peace

But I gave you a bloodline of oppression.

I lurk

without a heart

instead 50 stars on my body

Where all men are created equal

Where men and women who were born here

Have to look behind them and can’t help thinking

that they aren’t the same.

Where tear gas and the reservation and

passion mash.

They have First Amendment rights too.

You can’t cover our mouths now.

By Grace Carmona-Young



I am a drunk

Stumbling down the boulevard of my mind

Unsure footsteps down granite

Each inch forward cautious as it is wanted

I’m not quite sure if I’m lost

Or this is exactly what I’m looking for

I am a drunk

Only the alcohol of my choice isn’t one that can just be purchased at a market

It’s the pounding of my heart, butterflies in my stomach, dilating pupils

I can’t resist the corners of my lips curling up into a smile, almost as if they were

pulled by strings

The warm feeling I get in my chest as I feel large hands snake around my waist

Holding me as if I was the only thing keeping his feet tethered to the ground

Messy hair

Glossy eyes

We’re both drunk

But in the best kind of way

Hands craving nothing more than to touch one another

Lips colliding as if their touch was what had created the stars and galaxies themselves

Feelings running through us so fast like matches being scratched down a hearth

Creating fires strong enough to wash out hell

Two halves creating a single whole

Like the day and night working in tandem

Though each are giving you something equally beautiful

It’s feeling is completely unmatched

Anyone who gets to experience the wonder it rings

I hope they know just how fortunate they are to get to live something so out of body

So raw

So enlightening

Once you find it

Hold on

And don’t let go for anything.

By A Youth at DreamTree Project

Most Definite Misunderstanding

Most children have a bed

material gain is in many heads,

but the places we sleep are pretentious

and meek.


We cease thought of the ground

beneath our feet.


Our main interest is reaching

the top of this pyramid scheme,

wanting the knowledge of good and

evil and not the wisdom…to

know the difference.

By Robert Chavez Jr.

The calm rush of a river

An abandoned apartment

The squeak of a rusty swing

A rumbling storm cloud

children’s laughter

skipping stones


They thrive off of these things

Bu I can’t call them monsters because they aren’t

A monster is determined by one’s actions


A monster under the bed

A kindred spirit

By Hana O’Brien Isikawa


The Things In-between

There are so many things we see, so many things we imagine. Then there are the things in-between. They’re neither real nor fantasy. They lurk in the shadows of our world, but we can never see or imagine them. There are things beyond our reach. They are there, but we can never touch them. They live in a land between earth and sky. A land where everything is black, an endless wasteland of debris. The human world has an impact on the land. It always shows what earth will look like, in a hundred years. Twenty years ago this place was a lush green forest. There were hills and flowers and streams. But lately it has been getting darker. Every day a creature dies. Every week a stream dries up. Every month, a fire starts. And every year our world becomes more of an endless wasteland. 

By Flora Mack


A monster talks in the night

Whether real or in my head

It tells me I am useless, hated, no good

Tells me I have no place in this world

Leave get away from life for a while

I hate to admit that I am beginning to agree

That night I decide the monster is right

Going quickly

leaving only a note

I love you

It reads but I don’t know who it’s to


Running until my legs can’t carry me anymore

Then I stand on the bridge


It speaks


Jump before I make you

It is my turn to speak

Promise me one thing

Promise me you will slow down

Promise me you won’t take life away from people so quickly

Like you did to me

Just promise me that

I jump

Falling I hear the monster laughing from the bridge

By Sasha Kushner

The nights they shut their doors were the coldest. The nights where they let it prey upon their minds were warmer. And then there were the times where the nights were fire and his soul turned to ice in recollection of the time when someone called him human. How all the fear and hate he needed to erase and sustain himself with slipped through his fingers and sometimes he wished he could be human. To live in the warm house and glance across the parlor at the girl with the sad eyes and the broken heart that could actually see him. And he knew he could erase the pain and soothe the anger and he knew that without him everyone would start to break down. It was hard to be a monster, even a good one. It was hard to be sleep. It was hard... to be time. It felt odd to say his name. Then again... it felt odd to say anything anymore.

By Ella Aquino