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Val­ley verse: Taos Po­etry Fes­ti­val

Pasatiempo - - IN OTHER WORDS - — Jen­nifer Levin

Ocean Vuong, a poet liv­ing in New York City, is rid­ing a wave of crit­i­cal ac­claim: In 2016 his first full-length book, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, was pub­lished by Cop­per Canyon Press, and he won a Whit­ing Award, a prize given an­nu­ally to 10 emerg­ing writ­ers. His work in­cor­po­rates many con­tem­po­rary styles from the last 30 years of Amer­i­can po­etry, the re­sult of which is as at home in the staid acad­emy as at a rau­cous slam. Vuong, who was born in Saigon and grew up in Con­necti­cut, is fea­tured at this year’s Taos Po­etry Fes­ti­val, tak­ing place Thurs­day, June 2, through Satur­day, June 4. Vuong reads with Rose­merry Wah­tola-Trom­mer, Aliya Martin­son, Veron­ica Go­los, Nathan Brown, Sabina Jones, and se­lected youth poets at 6:30 p.m. on June 4, at the Taos Com­mu­nity Au­di­to­rium (145 Paseo del Pue­blo Norte; $15). The fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin on Tues­day, May 31, with a prefes­ti­val open mic at the SOMOS Salon Space (108 Civic Plaza Drive) at 6:45 p.m. There are work­shops, classes, and salons of­fered all week, in­clud­ing a story slam, open to any­one who wants to read a fiveminute true-life story on the theme of po­etic jus­tice, on June 2, at 6:45 p.m., at Taos Mesa Brew­ing (20 ABC Mesa Road, in El Prado), for $10 ad­mis­sion. Vuong teaches a po­etry work­shop, “Sug­gest a New Hi­er­ar­chy,” on June 4, at 12:30 p.m. at the SOMOS Salon Space. Par­tic­i­pants will write, read, and talk about po­etry’s abil­ity to wres­tle with com­plex­ity, es­pe­cially as it ap­plies to cur­rent national pol­i­tics and po­lit­i­cal re­sis­tance. The work­shop has a lim­ited ca­pac­ity, and is open to adults for a $45 fee. All events are free for stu­dents. For a com­plete sched­ule, visit www.taospo­etry .com or call 919-949-2113.

Ocean Vuong

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