Thursday, December 17, 2009

Summer Wood's Second Novel To Be Published

Summer Wood, who will be teaching Writing the Where of It (All Levels) at the 2010 Taos Conference, has emailed us with great news! Her second novel, WRECKER, will be published in the United States and the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury in winter 2011.

Summer says, "Thanks for your support, Sharon and Barb!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Taos Conference Faculty Member Jane Ciabattari Hosts 2009 PEN Beyond Margins Awards

We're a bit overdue yet want to share the following news submitted by 2010 Faculty Member Jane Ciabattari as posted (with a few updated changes) on

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On Wednesday, December 2, 2009, Jane Ciabattari, president of the National Book Critics Circle, hosted an evening of readings and conversation celebrating the winners of the 2009 PEN Beyond Margins Awards at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York City. Recent Oprah Book Club pick Uwem Akpan (Say You're One of Them; Little, Brown and Company), Juan Felipe Herrera (Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems; University of Arizona Press), and Lily Hoang (Changing; Fairy Tale Review Press) read from their winning works. W. W. Norton editor Brendan Curry joined them for a panel discussion moderated by Jane Ciabattari about the pathway to critical and commercial success and how the winning titles borrow from multiple genres to create works that are vital and engaging. This event was free and open to the public.

Uwem Akpan was born in Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Crieghton and Gonzaga Universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University in Eastern Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. Say You're One of Them was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The collection was also nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, the Caine Prize for African Writing, and the Story Prize. It received the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, African Region, and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as a 2009 selection for Oprah's Book Club.

Juan Felipe Herrera is a Chicano poet born in Fowler, California. In addition to his 24 previously published books, his recent books are Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (Univerity of Arizona Press)--one of the New York Times Best Books of 2008 and winnter of a 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and a 2009 Latino International Award in Poetry--and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments (City Lights), which won the 2008 PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles National Poetry Award.

Lily Hoang's first book Parabola won the Chiasmus Press Un-Doing the Novel Contest in 2006. She is also the author of the forthcoming novels The Evolutionary Revolution (Les Figues Press) and Invisible Women (StepSister Press, 2010). She is Associate Editor of Starcherone Books.

Jane Ciabattari is a fiction writer, book critic, and widely published journalist who has reported from Brussels, Havana, Hong Kong, London, Marrakech, Paris, Rome, and Shanghai. She is the author of the short story collection Stealing the Fire, and president of the National Book Critics Circle. Her reviews and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian online,, Bookforum, The Daily Beast, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Columbia Journalism Review, Ms., and other publications.

The PEN Beyond Margins Award is one of the many ways in which PEN American Center's Open Book Program encourages racial and ethnic diversity within the literary and publishing communities. The Open Book Committee works to increate the literature by, for, and about African, Arab, Asian, Caribbean, Latin, and Native Americans, and to establish access for these groups to the publishing industry. Its goal is to ensure that those who are the custodians of language and literature are representative of the American people."

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Annie Dawid's "Darkness" Reviewed

We just received the following review via email from 2010 Faculty Member Annie Dawid who will be teaching a weekend workshop, (Fictional) Character Wanted (All Levels), next July:

Published in Jewish Book World, Winter 2009

"This sprawling, warm-hearted story spans six continents and one hundred years, from the 1900 Sabbath table of Reizl and Lazar Solomon and their young sons, in Radautz, Bukovina, to a glorious millennial reunion in Paris.

"Dawid presents the family history in twenty-four accounts of varying length, rich in personal vignettes though mindful of the overriding historical arc. Here is Hans, a grandson of Reizl and Lazar, 'resident alien' of Tientsin, North China,1939; Berthold, another grandson, on day 555 of his imprisonment in a Cmmunist prison cell, 1950; great-granddaughters Toni and Marguerite, 'les Belles Jumelles,' internationally acclaimed Belgian duo-pianists, 1990s.

"The final story, set in Neuilly, a suburb of Paris, is an amazing set piece. From far-flung corners of the world, e.g., Dakar, Liverpool, Haifa, San Francisco, Saigon, Moscow, Capetown, Rio, Brussels, Dublin, New York, the descendants of Reizl and Lazar -- gay, straight, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-talented -- assemble in boisterous celebration of the ninety-second birthday of Freda, granddaughter of Reizl and Lazar, oldest surviving member of the family, and the birth of the new millennium."

Congratulations, Annie!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2010 Taos Conference Faculty List Is Here

We're excited to share with you our faculty list and more for the 12th Annual Taos Summer Writers' Conference, July 11-18, 2010, at the Sagebrush Inn Conference Center!

2010 Faculty
Jonis Agee - Weeklong Master Class
Dorothy Allison - Weeklong Workshop
Jane Ciabattari - Weeklong Workshop
Jeff Davis - Weeklong Workshop
Jon Davis - Weeklong Workshop
Annie Dawid - Weekend Workshop
John Dufresne - Weeklong Master Class
Minrose Gwin - Weeklong Workshop
Joy Harjo - Weekend Workshop
Pam Houston - Weeklong & Weekend Workshops
Jesse Lee Kercheval - Weeklong Workshop
Priscilla Long - Weeklong Workshop
Beverly Lowry - Weeklong Workshop
Sarah Manguso - Weeklong Master Class
Valerie Martinez - Weekend Workshop
Debra Monroe - Weeklong Workshop
Daniel Mueller - Weekend Workshop
Michelle Otero - Weekend Workshop
Mark Sundeen - Weeklong & Weekend Workshops
Rob Wilder - Weeklong Master Class
Summer Wood - Weeklong Workshop

2010 Keynote Speaker
Cristina Garcia

2010 Featured Artist
Ann Huston

We think this is a wonderfully strong line up and are looking forward to a dynamic Conference next July! Complete 2010 workshop information will be up and running on our website at beginning December 1, 2009.

Mark your calendar:
Registration for the 2010 Taos Summer Writers' Conference opens on Tuesday, December 1.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Just wondering if anyone here at the conference is on Twitter. If you are - just use #taos in your tweets. Maybe we can arrange a tweet-up sometime this week. In the meantime -- here's a pic of my new friend K2 - one of the llamas I met on yesterday's trek.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Memoir - Barbara Robinette Moss

I used the 5 hour plane trip to read MOST of Change Me Into Zeus's Daughter and realized somewhere over Kansas, I could have been Barbara's sister.

Just wish I'd glanced at her suggested reading list earlier. Plan to spend today "hydrating", reading Drinking a Love Story, and checking out the PowWow. Tomorrow we're taking a llama trek.

Looking forward to meeting all of you on Monday.

Brenda Mantz from Virginia

Friday, July 10, 2009

Open Mic at the Conference

Hey fellow writers!

After lunch each day of the conference, we'll have a featured reader (one of the scholarship recipients) AND an open mic (5 minutes MAX. no exceptions)
Five minutes spoken would be about 3 pages of double spaced, 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins. Of course if you read really really fast, it could be more, but then no one would really hear your work.

And, if you've never read your work aloud in front of an audience, this is a good place to start. First, you probaby don't know most of us anyway, and if you return to the Taos Conference, most of us will have forgotten your reading... in other words, it's ok to mess up. And on that note, even if you DO mess up, we've all been there, we're all writers, we will understand. We will forgive you and applaud you anyway.

Some tips for reading aloud:

1. Don't forget to breath. Seriously, we don't want you to pass out.
2. Take it slow. Read each word, ennunciate. pause.
3. Project. Even with a microphone, you need to speak up.
4. Look up... you'll see cues from the audience like when they can't hear you, so you'll know to (see number 3)
5. Relax. Have fun. We're all writers.

It's great fun to hear fellow writers read their work aloud, and I do hope you will plan on giving it a try... we'll have sign up sheets probably in the Conference Lobby-- the same place you can sign up for trips to the DH Lawrence ranch, the Harwood, the Pueblo, etc.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Looking for a ride from Albuquerque on 7/12

I'll be arriving in Albuquerque at noon on Sunday July 12. I'm wondering if I can catch a ride into Taos around that time. I'd be happy to pay for snacks and gas! 


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Show Your Name Badge and Save

Several businesses in Taos are offering conference participants a special welcome...

Visit our sponsors, and for special discounts show your nametag and tell them you're here for the Taos Summer Writers Conference

3 Dog Art Taos 10% discount on dog and cat accessories, treats, animal related home décor and human stuff too like hand crafted jewelry from local artisans!!
Located at: 120g Bent St., Taos, NM 87571
Hours: Daily from 10-6
Phone: 575-751-1718

The Bean Northside 10% discount on bakery items, restaurant and the world’s best coffees, of course
Located at: 900 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM 87571
Phone: 575-758-7711

The Bean Southside 10% discount on bakery items, restaurant and the world’s best coffees, of course
Located at: 1033 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571
Phone: 575-758-5123

Desertblends of Taos 20% discount on personal care products using an Ayurvedic blend of infused, wildcrafted sage and herbal extracts from the sacred mountains of Taos, New Mexico.
Located at: 130 Bent Street, Taism NM 87571
Phone: 575-758-4000

I love Taos 10% discount on clothes from infants to 5X
Located at: 115 East Taos Plaza, Taos, NM 87571
Open 7 days
Phone: 575-758-8565

Jackie’s Trading Post Gallery 30% discount on the best in Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and Pueblo made art, crafts, pottery, weavings, and vintage collectable Southwestern Jewelry.
Located at: 126 W Plaza, Taos, NM 87571
Hours: 10-6, closed Tuesday
Phone: 575-758-1651

Taos Adobe Quilting 10% discount on quilting fabrics, collections by local artists, and more
Located at: 102 Terisina Lane, Taos, NM
Hours: 10:30-5 M-S, 12-4 Sunday
Phone: 575-751-321

Taos Togs 10% discount on children’s and infants wear with a SW flair
Located at: Terisina Lane, Taos, NM
Hours: 10:30-5 M-S, 12-4 Sunday

Thunder Lizard 10% discount on beads and things
Located at: 1803 S Santa Fe Hwy, Ranchos De Taos NM 87557
Phone: 575-751-1752

Taos Spa and Tennis upgrade to a hot stone massage (at no extra charge) with the selection of the Sagebrush Inn and Conference Center Massage package
Located at: 111 Dona Ana Drive, Taos New Mexico 87571
Appointments available seven days a week from 10:00 am until 7:30 pm. (6:30 pm Saturday & Sunday). Come early to soak in the hot tubs, sauna or relax in the steam room.
Phone: 575-758-1980 Ext.0 for appointment

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Need Ride from Alb.--Sunday AM 7/12

Hi Folks,
I'm signed up for Summer Wood's workshop on place.
I'd like to catch a ride with anyone driving from Albuquerque on Sunday morning. Of course, I'd share gas bill with driver (and other passengers?). I can get to you anywhere in Albuquerque.
Productive writing wishes to all,

Taos Summer of Writing and Love

You may or may not know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the movie Easy Rider (some of which was filmed in Taos, and starred Dennis Hopper).

While some of you may be saying "So what!" I'll just say that while you're in Taos, it is a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the city wide celebration going on. Lots of activites, art shows and the like... so when you're not taking advantage of all the special litarary events at the Taos Summer Writers Conference.....

check out the town of Taos,

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weekend Conference (Santa Fe-Taos-Santa Fe)

If a weekend attendee is in need of a ride from Santa Fe to Taos, you are welcome to ride shotgun with me. I'll be driving up Friday afternoon (July 17th) and returning Sunday afternoon (July 19th).

Tom Claffey

Ed Sandoval Event Friday July 17, 2009

There are a lot of special literary events going on at the 2009 Taos Summer Writers' Conference, from faculty readings, and book signings to open mics, but don't forget about the art!

Taos artist Ed Sandoval has graciously offered digital images of his art for us to use in the conference materials, and he's allowed us to use his images for our special t-shirts, posters, and book bags as well.

We'll be hosting a Meet & Greet at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 17 and hope you'll be joining us.

Ed will showcase some of his original art and will be available to chat about his art.

Bring your poster to have it signed!

This is a super oppportunity to meet a living Taos treasure.

Although Ed's art is distinctly southwestern, his signature viejos (old ones) his expressive use of color and bold strokes of paint, elicit emotion that is universal.

Get a quick preview of Ed's art on the Taos conference website, and here:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Robert Boswell Review

2009 Taos Summer Writers' Conference faculty member Robert Boswell's book The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastard was reviewed in the New York Time's Sunday Book Review this week. Read the review at: .

Monday, June 22, 2009

An Invitation

The Taos Conference would like to invite any 2009 participants to post on this blog. Before the Conference you can post seeking a roommate or someone to carpool with. During and after the Conference you can post about your experiences at the Conference. If you want an invitation to be a blog author just send a note to

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two Faculty Members Featured in O Magazine

The July 2009 issue of O Magazine features not one but two 2009 Taos Summer Writers' Conference Faculty members!

The magazine reviews Robert Boswell's book The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards. You can see a copy of this review online: .

The magazine also includes an interview of Toni Morrison conducted by Pam Houston. The introduction to the interview states that "Pam Houston considers her ongoing talks about writing with Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison to be among the great joys of her life. Recently she and Morrison discussed those times a writer lives for, when she is able to enter that fluid space of inspiration where one good line keeps following another."

Friday, June 12, 2009

2009 Scholarship Winners

We have announced our scholarship winners!

D. H. Lawrence Fellow: Merrill Feitell
Hispanic Writer Award: Cathy Arellano
Native Writer Award: Maurus Chino
Taos Resident Award: Paula Marafino Bernett
Leo Love Merit Scholarship in Poetry: R. Flowers Rivera
Leo Love Merit Scholarship in Fiction: Candice Carnes

You can read more about them here:

Monday, June 08, 2009

A New Agent is Coming to Taos

This year the Taos Summer Writers' Conference is pleased to welcome agents Alexis Hurley and Kimberley Witherspoon to Taos. Both Alexis and Kimberly are Conference veterans and it is always a pleasure to have them with us.

In addition, this year we are welcoming a new agent to the Conference, Patricia Moosbrugger. Patricia Moosbrugger is an independent literary agent who relocated to Albuquerque two years ago after eighteen years in the New York publishing world. She represents both fiction and narrative nonfiction authors with several national bestsellers. Upcoming nonfiction titles on her list include Sultana (Harper), a civil war story and Brave Vessel (Viking), the true story behind the shipwreck that inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest. Upcoming fiction titles include The Girl From Junchow (Berkley) by bestselling author Kate Furnivali, The Glass Blower (St. Martin's), a historical novel set in Venice, and A Rule for Murder (Minotaur) by award-winning mystery writer, Louise Penny.

All three agents will be participating in publishing consultations with Conference participants. If you want to know more about publishing consultations, go to

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Laura Dave's Novel Out in Paperback

2008 Taos Summer Writers' Conference faculty member Laura Dave's novel, The Divorce Party, is out in paperback. Her website has more information about the book as well as a clip of her appearance on The Early Show: .

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Innovations in Reading Prize, 2009

2009 Taos Summer Writers' Conference faculty member Rob Wilder has won a 2009 Innovations in Reading prize from the National Book Foundation. Read more about Rob's work here:

Friday, April 03, 2009

Jesse Lee Kercheval's New Book

2009 Conference faculty member Jesse Lee Kercheval has a new book of poetry out from the Southern Illinois University Press. According to her website, Cinema Muto "examines the enduring themes of time, mortality, and love as revealed through the power of silent film." You can read more about the book here: .

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Participant News

Jo Ann Barefoot, a Conference participant, has excellent news. Her book, Sacred River, has made it to the quarter-finals of the Breakthrough Novel Contest. 10,000 entries were narrowed down to 500. One reviewer said of Jo Ann's work, "Overall strength gets my first five-star score! Well done." Congratulations Jo Ann!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Taos Summer of Love 2009

This summer Taos is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Easy Rider through the Taos Summer of Love 2009. You can find out more about the exhibits and events here: .

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Antonya Nelson Reviewed in the New York Times

2009 Taos Summer Writers' Conference faculty member Antonya Nelson was reviewed in last weekend's New York Times Sunday Book Review. You can find the review here:

Congratulations Antonya!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dana Levin to Read in Santa Fe

Taos Summer Writers' Conference 2009 faculty member Dana Levin will give a reading this month. She will read new poems for 30 minutes, followed by a question and answer session.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 5:30
O'Shaughnessy Performance Space
Benildus Hall
College of Santa Fe

Dana Levin’s first book, In the Surgical Theatre, was awarded the 1999 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize and went on to receive nearly every award available to first books and emerging poets. The Lost Angeles Times says of her work, “Dana Levin’s poems are extravagant...her mind keeps making unexpected connections and the poems push beyond convention...they surprise us.” Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Conduit and the Iowa Review. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, Levin teachers in the Creative Writing and Literature Department at the College of Santa Fe. Her most recent book is Wedding Day (Copper Canyon Press).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Carol Moldaw to Read in February

2009 Conference faculty member Carol Moldaw will be reading from her new novel, The Widening (Etruscan Press, 2008), at the Harwood Art Center, 1114 7th St NW, Albuquerque, on Wednesday, February 25th, at 7 p.m. The reading is free and a booksigning will follow.

Moldaw is also the author of four books of poetry, The Lightning Field (2003), which won the 2002 FIELD Poetry Prize, Through the Window (2000), Chalkmarks on Stone (1998), and Taken from the River (1993). She is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize, and her work is published widely in journals, including AGNI, Antioch Review, Conjunctions, FIELD, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Threepenny Review. As noted in The New Yorker, Moldaw’s work “repeatedly achieves lyric junctures of shivering beauty.” About The Lightning Field, Frieda Gardner wrote in The Women’s Review of Books: “She courts revelation . . . in a voice variously curious, passionate, surprised, meditative, and sensual. On the surface of her work are rich sound and variation of rhythm and line. A few steps deeper in lie wells of feeling and complexities of thought.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wally Lamb is the 2009 Keynote Speaker

Wally Lamb, #1 bestselling author and two-time pick of Oprah’s Book Club will be the 2009 keynote speaker for the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. His first two novels—She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True—established Wally Lamb as one of our major novelists, and his brand new novel, The Hour I First Believed, reasserts his place in American letters. Since its publication in early November of 2008, The Hour I First Believed has been listed near the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Lamb has also edited two volumes of essays—Couldn’t Keep It to Myself and I’ll Fly Away—written by students in his writing workshop at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Connecticut, where he has been a volunteer facilitator for the past nine years. Lamb and his wife Christine live in Connecticut and are the parents of three sons.

Wally Lamb holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in teaching from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree from Vermont College. Lamb was in the ninth year of his twenty-five year career as a high school English teacher at his alma mater, the Norwich Free Academy, when he began to write fiction in 1981. He has also taught writing at the University of Connecticut, where he directed the English Department’s creative writing program.

Wally Lamb has said of his fiction, “Although my characters’ lives don’t much resemble my own, what we share is that we are imperfect people seeking to become better people. I write fiction so that I can move beyond the boundaries and limitations of my own experiences and better understand the lives of others. That’s also why I teach. As challenging as it sometimes is to balance the two vocations, writing and teaching are, for me, intertwined.”

Honors for Wally Lamb include the Connecticut Center for the Book’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Connecticut Bar Association’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” Award, the Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award, The National Institute of Business/Apple Computers “Thanks To Teachers” award. Lamb has received Distinguished Alumni awards from Vermont College and the University of Connecticut. He was the 1999 recipient of the New England Book Award for fiction. I Know This Much Is True won the Friends of the Library USA Readers’ Choice Award for best novel of 1998, the result of a national poll, and the Kenneth Johnson Memorial Book Award, which honored the novel’s contribution to the anti-stigmatization of mental illness. She’s Come Undone was a 1992 “Top Ten” Book of the Year selection in People magazine and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Best First Novel of 1992.

A bold, ambitious and altogether extraordinary page-turner from a brilliant storyteller working at the top of his game, The Hour I First Believed, is a big book in every sense: its thematic scope, its multi-generational family arc, its interplay between past and present, its ripped-from-the-headlines inspiration and its diverse cast of flesh-and-blood characters all meld seamlessly into Lamb’s most stunning achievement to date. Humane, searing, heartfelt and totally unforgettable, this is a riveting spellbinder -- spanning from the 1800s to today.

Seeking a fresh start for their troubled marriage, Caelum Quirk and his wife Maureen relocate to Littleton, Colorado where they both find jobs at Columbine High School. She is at there on that terrible April day in 1999 when two deranged teenagers go on their killing spree, leaving massive collateral damage in their wake. Maureen makes it out alive but the psychological aftershocks send her in a downward spiral with catastrophic consequences. Unable to stop his wife’s decline, Caelum must face off with his own demons as a series of long-buried Quirk secrets come to light, revelations that send him reeling and yet at last, and perhaps miraculously, steer him to the redemption he thought was lost to him long ago.

Once again in The Hour I First Believed, Lamb portrays life’s largest issues and smallest moments with equal dexterity, his bracing honesty and relentless moral questioning tempered with humor and compassion as he tries to make sense of the messy, raw, thorny bonds of family, both the ones we’re raised in and the ones we create. But here he ups the stakes too, pondering the impact of violence, the mysteries of faith and the nature of identity in a sprawling tale that interweaves the stuff of mythology with hardcore reality as it tracks the quest for meaning in a chaotic world.