Valley verse: Taos Poetry Festival
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.