This year marks the third annual Prose Month at local literary society, SOMOS. Each year, SOMOS invites writers of prose–which includes everything from essays to memoir to playwriting to journalism and more—to read for our community. Prose Month is the sister event to Poetry Month in April, which coincides with National Poetry Month. Prose Month is in November to coincide with National Novel Writing Month, a nation-wide marathon for writers to attempt to complete a 50,000-word novel in one month.
Curator of Prose Month, Johanna DeBiase said, “This year’s celebration of prose is particularly exciting as authors from Denver to Albuquerque will be sharing the spotlight with local authors.” Almost every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of November, excluding the holiday weekend, will be a reading by two to three writers. There will also be four diverse writing workshops offered to anyone interested in exploring the craft of writing. “With over 30 writers participating, there’s something for every bibliophile and lit nerd to love,” DeBiase said.
The author travelling the farthest to join the event is Erika T. Wurth, coming from Denver. According to her bio, Wurth’s publications include two novels, “Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend” and “You Who Enter Here,” two collections of poetry and a collection of short stories, “Buckskin Cocaine.” She teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee raised outside of Denver. She will be joined by local writer Jean-Marie Saporito on Saturday, November 23 at 7pm.
“I am particularly excited about Erika Wurth and Dr. Nasario Garcia because they are well-established authors, bringing unique areas of expertise to the event,” DeBiase commented.
García is an acclaimed New Mexican folklorist who lives in Santa Fe. His bio says that he has published over thirty books, including “Hoe, Heaven, and Hell: My Boyhood in Rural New Mexico,” which won the 2016 International Latino Book Awards for best autobiography and was a recipient of the 2015 for Best Book on New Mexico. Most recently, he published “No More Bingo, Comadre! Stories,” which was a 2019 finalist for New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. García is also the recipient of the first-time ever Lifetime Achievement Award, the Historical Society of New Mexico. He will be reading with his good friend and beloved Taos author, John Nichols on Sunday, November 17 at 5pm.
Saturday, November 9 at 7pm should be a fun night of laughter with two comedy writers. Eddie Tafoya, author of “Finding the Buddha: A Dark Story of Genius, Friendship, and Stand-up Comedy” and “The Legacy of the Wisecrack: Stand-up Comedy as the Great American Literary Form” will be coming to Taos from Albuquerque and reading with Robert Wilder author of “Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge” and “Daddy Needs a Drink” from Santa Fe.
Additional writers presenting at November Prose Month include Mirabai Starr, Rabbi Judith HaLevy, Deborah Seidman, Brian Allan Skinner, Iver Arnegard, Christine Autumn, Krystal Crestecos, Lauren Bjorkman, Ned Dougherty, Erik Forrest Jackson, Kim Merrill, Jim Levy, Phaedra Greenwood, Patricia Pollard, Marlayna Glynn, John Biscello, Joe De Patta, Rose Gordon, Eileen Wiard, Magdalene Smith, Allegra Huston, Henry Shukman, David Perez and Rick Romancito.
The four workshops offered include, “Playwriting Fun01: Exploring the building blocks of a scene” with Ned Dougherty, “The Power of the Darkside: Creating the perfect adversary” with Johanna DeBiase, “Writing Through the Pain: Overcoming loss in creative non-fiction” with Dr. Iver Arnegard and “Jump Start Your Memoir” with SOMOS Director Jan Smith. Workshops are for writers of every skill level. All workshops are priced differently. See the SOMOS website for more details.
SOMOS will also host two write-ins per week for the month of November, Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30pm and Sundays from 12-2pm. Write-ins are opportunities for writers to schedule in two hours solely for writing. Meeting in the SOMOS conference room, writers quietly write together without discussion as a way of holding each other accountable for writing. This is open to everyone and particularly encouraged for people participating in National Novel Writing Month.
Readings take place at SOMOS, 108 Civic Plaza Drive, Taos. Thursday and Sunday readings are at 5pm and Friday and Saturday meetings are at 7pm. Tickets are $5 members/$8 non-members. For more information on all the events or to buy tickets or register for classes email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 575-758-0081 and visit the website at www.somostaos.org.