Rhizome, rhizome, rhizome!!! If you were at Naropa for the 2012 Summer Writing Program, you have a love-hate relationship with this word—you love that it means community but will excommunicate yourself from any community in which you hear it again. Once you say a word over and over again, like “rhizome” or “community” it loses its meaning. Ultimately, we can call our rhizome any number of things. What is important is that we participate in it. Below are a few ways you can participate in the ever-expanding writing community.
The book-making student-run publication, Semicolon, held a Fundraising Event on Saturday night, October 6, filled with connection. At one point during the night, I just paused to look around the room at our community—a four hour snapshot of connection and full engagement. Musicians plucked at our heartstrings and hamstrings on cello, guitar, keyboard, and the hammer dulcimer. Dulce means sweet in Spanish, and it was so sweet! DJs had us dancing, jumping, sliding, spinning, swinging, and hula hooping all night. Reiki healers helped us get in tune with ourselves and gave the night a centered and connected feeling. Local artists’ striking artwork lined the walls, while one live artist danced to the music in brushstrokes, hypnotizing the audience during music performance with live art. Open Mic poets inspired us to move words from our own bellies to our throats. We even had a joyous open mic Skype-in with a JKS alum all the way from Thailand! Semicolon’s bookmaking table motivated DIYers to create their own books with us (and to submit by October 21st!). We raised over $100 and donations are still coming in!
Much gratitude to:
Musicians ~ Sam, Asa Lott, Jesse Childe, Zoe, Matt Clifford, Joe Braun, Dan Halpern, Ben Martens
DJs Indigo Weller, Paul Montgomery (Snack Size)
Reiki Healer ~ Amanda Reavey
Visual Artists ~ Sara Chadwick, Ruth Peterson
Poets ~ Jorie, Eleanor, Anna Avery, Stuart Shannon
Semicolon Crew ~ Jason Burks, Tiara Lopez, Carl Danelski, Eric Fischman, April Joseph, Ashley Waterman, Morgan McGuire, Noah Christie, Geoff Bylina
Naropa Staff ~ Ariella Goldberg, Kyle Pivarnik, Steve Jewell, Matt Peterson, Nick Weiss
And of course all of you beautiful folks who created our community that night!
It was a night of incredible collaboration, and people came up to me all night thanking us for providing this space. They truly felt a part of the community and connected to each other, and this is what Naropa strives for! “I was very thankful for it. It’s nice to do what we were all made to do again. I love playing for a Naropa audience, and I felt that everyone was really tuned in to what I was singing.” –Jesse Childe, musician
While community is often something that arises organically, it needs a container. For more containers near you, a number of events are happening in and around Boulder this Fall. Check them out.
Community Poetry Events Fall 2012
- The “What Where Series” is a JKS reading series happening on various Tuesday nights throughout the semester. Please join us for the upcoming WHAT WHERE SERIES with Lidia Yuknavitch, Eric Baus, and Joanna Ruocco on Tuesday, October 23, at 7:30pm. The reading takes place at the Naropa Performing Arts Center at 2130 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder. Bombay Gin will have a table selling our issues. Come by!
- Bouldering Poets is a monthly multi-media performance series featuring three performers. Elyse Brownell, a Naropa MFA candidate, curates and hosts the event, and poetry, prose, music, and visual arts are showcased. Each night closes with an open mic. The most recent Bouldering Poets was held at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place on September 27, 2012, and featured: Diana McLean, Lindsay Miller, and music by Helicopterbearshark. The next event is at Johnny’s Cigar Bar in Boulder at 1801 13th Street, on October 25th at 7:30pm. The event features: Gia Opris (a Naropa alum, poet), Eugene Igma (video mash-ups) and Shane Dooley (music). Check out Bouldering Poets on Facebook.
- The Laughing Goat’s Open Poetry Reading “So, You’re a Poet” is in its 25th year of continuous Monday readings at 8pm!
- Innisfree’s Weekly Open Poetry Reading every Tuesday night at 7pm welcomes all. Participants share equal time slots. Prose, lyrics, and instruments are also welcome. It is a true celebration of expression.
- Roger Wolsey runs an Open Mic at CU’s Wesley Chapel on the first Tuesday night of every month from 8-10pm. Expand!
- Jesse Childe has a regular weekend show at Folsom Coffee and a show at Innisfree on January 10th.
- DJ Snack Size (Paul Montgomery) will be DJing at Shine Thursday, October 18, and can also be found DJing at BIJA on a monthly basis. Click here for more Snack Size.
- Amanda Reavey continues to practice reiki for writers! Check her out.
- Every Full Moon, there is a midnight reading in an alleyway… ask around to find out which one!
- DigiZome is an online writing group formed from SWP 2012 that gets a new post every day!
- Finally, another way to build community is to participate in Semicolon and Bombay Gin. Keep your ears and eyes peeled for upcoming Bombay Gin events. You can check out Bombay Gin on Facebook, LitCal, and Denver and Boulder Poetry Events.
Until next time, Namaste and keep expanding our community, rhizome, globotzchka, whatever you wanna call it!
June Lucarotti is a poet, children’s writer, and Bombay Gin editor who grew up in San Francisco and is a current MFA candidate in Writing and Poetics in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She received her B.A. in Social Welfare and minor in Creative Writing from UC Berkeley, working with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and Glide. June infuses her writing with social justice, Buddhism, special education, Spanglish, and laughter.