Writers Series

1/18/17: Hettie Jones, Leslie Ullman & Jean Nordhaus

Best known for “How I Became Hettie Jones,” her memoir of the “Beat Scene,” Hettie Jones is the author of 23 books for children and adults, including the award-winning “Big Star Fallin’ Mama, Five Women in Black Music.” “Drive,” her first poetry collection, won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber Award; it was followed by second and third collections, “All Told” and “Doing 70.” Jones reads her work widely, at venues from coffee shops to colleges. Since the 1980s, in addition to her own work, Jones has authored memoirs for Rita Marley “No Woman No Cry” and others, and taught writing in colleges, prisons, and community settings. The former Chair of PEN’s Prison Writing Committee. Jones currently teaches graduate writing at The New School, and memoir workshops at the 92nd Street Y. “Love, H,” a selection from her 40-year correspondence with the sculptor Helene Dorn, has just been published by Duke University Press.

Poet Jean Nordhaus earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Barnard College and a PhD in German literature from Yale University. She is the author of the poetry chapbook “A Language of Hands” (1982), as well as the collections “A Bracelet of Lies” (1987), “The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn” (2002), and “Innocence” (2006).

Exploring the dramatic monologue in “The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn,” Nordhaus depicts the life of Moses Mendelssohn, grandfather of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, through interconnected poems in a variety of voices. In “Innocence,” Nordhaus’s subjects include friends, relatives, transitional moments in a life, and the roles of mother and daughter. Grace Cavalieri, reviewing “Innocence” for the “Montserrat Review,” commented; “complexity is made simple in a speech aloof from the ordinary. Whatever the outer life is or was—we have dignity, detachment and the necessary strength to be autonomous.”

Nordhaus has been the poetry coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s poetry programs and has taught at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She lives in Washington, DC.

For 27 years Leslie Ullman taught at UT-El Paso as a Professor of Creative Writing, where she created the Bilingual MFA Program. Since 1981 and currently, She’s been teaching in the low residency MFA Program at Vermont College of the Fine Arts. She is the author of four collections of poetry, including, “Progress on the Subject of Immensity,” which was published by UNM Press. Awards include the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, the Iowa Poetry Prize, and two NEA Creative Writing Fellowships. Her newest soon-to-be-published “Library of Small Happiness” is a collection of essays on the craft of poetry include writing prompts, excerpts from her own poems and reflections on other poet’s work.



1/25/17: 8th Annual Young Writers Night at the Harwood - FREE

Hosted by Johanna DeBiase and Sabina Jones – a collection of young writers from 5th – 12th grade from local public and charter schools in Taos. 

Special guest, musician/songwriter, Miles Bonney.



2/1/17: Nasario Garcia, Rob Wilder, Estelle Laure

Nasario García was born in Bernalillo, New Mexico and grew up in the Río Puerco valley southeast of Chaco Canyon. He has a BA in Spanish and an MA in Portuguese from UNM. He was awarded a Ph. D. in XIX century Spanish literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to that, he took doctoral courses at the University of Granada in Spain where he studied under the eminent linguist, Dr. Manuel Alvar, and Golden Age specialist Emilio Orozco Díaz. He also did graduate work in Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he met his wife, Jan Smith. Before his retirement, Dr. García taught at Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Northern Illinois University and the University of Southern Colorado where he served as Assistant Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. While a university professor, he lectured extensively in this country and abroad—including Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Spain. As a scholar and creative writer, he has published 31 books. He has also translated five works, including a long novel. His latest books are all recent winners at the International Latino Book Awards. They include “Hoe, Heaven and Hell: My Boyhood in Rural New Mexico,” “Grandpa Lolo’s Matanza: A New Mexico Tradition,” “Grandma Lale’s Tamales: A Christmas Story,” and “Grandpa Lolo’s Navajo Saddle Blanket” (these last three children’s books are bilingual).
An Emeritus Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Dr. García currently resides in Santa Fe with his wife Janice. 

Robert Wilder is the author of a novel, “Nickle”, and two critically acclaimed essay collections, “Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge” and “Daddy Needs A Drink,” both published by Delacorte Press.
A teacher for twenty-five years, Wilder has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. He has published essays in “Newsweek,” “Details,” “Salon,” “Parenting,” “Creative Nonfiction,” plus numerous anthologies and has been a commentator for NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Estelle Laure is the author of young adult novels “This Raging Light,” which has been widely translated throughout the world, and the forthcoming “But Then I Came Back.” She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an agency associate at Folio Literary Management, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives in order to be better people. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her family where it is easy to believe in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths, which she does.



2/8/17: Local Writers Night: Katy Grabel,  Rick Haltermann and Brinn Colenda - FREE

Katy Grabel is a former newspaper reporter and freelance journalist whose award winning short story “Woman by Chemistry,” won first place for fiction from New Millennium writings. Her short prose “Tips for Magician Assistants” was published in ZYZZYVA. Her creative writing has been greatly influenced by her parent’s career in professional magic – her father, Lee Grabel, manned the last big traveling magic show in the country. Her memoir Girl in a Top Hat is about traveling in their magic show when she was fourteen. She is the Daughter of the Human Cannon Ball and loves Taos because she fits right in! 

“Girl in a Top Hat” is a literary coming-of-age memoir about traveling in her father’s magic show when he launched his last bid to be a Vegas headliner. She was a shy, awkward fourteen-year-old with a craving for grandeur who believed her father’s return to show biz would bring her stardom as his assistant. Hitting the road with a floating piano and disappearing horse, her enthusiasm started to wane when she realized the quest for fame was full of costs and the road full of trouble: wayward roadies, crashed show truck, and the increasing unhappiness of her mother – the human cannon ball – who missed their old life in the suburbs. As tension mounted between cast members, she saw her father in a new light and her loyalty was tested.

Rick Haltermann is a photographer musician, jazz DJ at KTAOS, African dance teacher and Director of the Association of Noetic Practitioners (www.noeticbalancing.com). Through the combination of original writing, poetry, quotations, art images and photography, the “Curriculum of the Soul” is a guide that discusses the tools we are given, how to apply them to suffering, to being in the world, to spirituality and living a balanced life culminating in a soul-centered view of death. He currently lives in northern New Mexico where he spends as much time outdoors as possible.

Brinn Colenda is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a retired Lieutenant Colonel. He served in a variety of flying and staff assignments around the world from Southeast Asia to Bolivia. He was an instructor pilot with the U.S. Air Force, the German Air Force, the Dutch Air Force, Great Britain’s Royal Air Force and was awarded command pilot wings by the Bolivian Air Force.

He has advanced degrees in economics and business, and had a post graduate fellowship at the Hoover Institution for War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.
He has published articles in professional journals and his local newspaper. His first political-military thriller novel, “The Cochabamba Conspiracy,” won awards from the Military Writers Society of America and the Southwest Writers Association. His second thriller, “Chita Quest,” explores MIA/POW issues as well as military families under stress. It won awards from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association and first-place from the New Mexico-Arizona Book Cooperative. He is currently working on his third in the series, planned for release in Spring, 2017.

SOMOS events begin at 7pm.

Harwood Young Writers event begins at 6pm.

Admission $5/SOMOS member  $8/nonmember except for:

1/25/17: 8th Annual Young Writers Night at the Harwood which is FREE and

2/8/17: Local Writers Night, also FREE.