Her, Infinite performs a metaphysical, yet-grounded-in-daily-life ceremony in which the magical properties of language meet with political action. The poems enact a healing, with the poet as note-taker and celebrant, making her way through a labyrinth that begins with community action, conceived in mythic terms, spirals though the intimacies of erotic love and friendship under environmental peril, and returns after a descent that involves self-confrontation as well as surrender to the invisible forces that guide our lives. The speaker in these poems takes the reader on a search for a worldview that can hold both beauty and terror, while singing in praise of creation.
“Sawnie Morris’ poetry sings in the tongues and dialects of space, like a lighthouse in the desert. The incantation, the verse, navigating the deep inward, the hard flight further. Illuminations from the journeyed tempest of a wild calm. When life brings us poetry, this is what should be made of it!”–– Levi Romero, New Mexico Centennial Poet and Author, A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works and Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland
Sawnie Morris is winner of the 2015 New Issues Poetry Prize (judge: Major Jackson) for Her, Infinite, published by New Issues Press in 2016. Her work is forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing, 2016, online edition, and she is winner of the 2016 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize (judge: Lee Upton). She has been honored with a Poetry Society of America George Bogin Award and has been a co-winner of the New Mexico Book Award for her chapbook in The Sound a Raven Makes. She is a founding director of Amigos Bravos: Because Water Matters and currently serves on the board of directors for the Oo-oo-nah Cultural Center, at Taos Pueblo
Sawnie is a free-lance poetry writing instructor offering poetry writing workshops online and face-to-face. For more information about Sawnie and her workshops, visit https://sawniemorris.com and pick up a copy, at Bookworks, of the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine where she will be featured along with four other authors with 2016 debut collections.
“Count” is a long poem driven by wonder for and attachment to our natural world (with references to water, flora and fauna) as well as archetypal flood stories and the urgency of impending climate change. At the heart of the poem is an image of an adolescent girl who evokes questions about the legacy we will leave to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Valerie Martínez’s award-winning books of poetry include Absence, Luminescent, And They Called It Horizon and World to World. Her book-length poem, Each and Her (winner of the 2012 Arizona Book Award) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Open Book Award, the William Carlos William Award and received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 International Latino Book Awards. Her poetry has been widely published in journals, anthologies, and media outlets including The Best American Poetry, the American Poetry Review, the Washington Post, and The Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Everywhere series. She was the Poet Laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico from 2008-2010.
Valerie is also a collaborative artist and community activist. She is the Founding Director of Artful Life which works to transform communities through the beauty and power of collaborative art. Learn more at www.valeriemartinez.net