Upon my first glimpse of a snow poem in the winter of 2012, I broke down and wept. It was so simple and so beautiful, “A few still listen to birds,” by Tatha. My heart just sort of cracked open a little. And, of course, it happened to be snowing. One of those really big, really quiet snows.
Now, more than a year later, I find myself employed at the Santa Fe Art Institute, neighbor to Edie Tsong, and a fledgling member of the venerable Cut+Paste Society. There is no snow, and it feels much more like spring than winter, but those poems are alive and well and breathing deeply.
Last Sunday afternoon at Collected Works, an amazingly diverse crowd gathered to celebrate Snow Poems and the unveiling of its Souvenir Postcard Book. The full-color accordion fold contains photos of eight faves, and includes the likes of Elizabeth Jacobson and Jon Davis, Jessica Lawless and Arthur Sze. Pretty gorgeous, if you ask me. I’ve already burned through one in its entirety.
The Collected Works affair was an afternoon to remember. Heavy hitters and a full house, and none taking themselves too seriously (as both poets and Santa Feans are known to do). Some of the city’s finest creatives came to re-celebrate Snow Poems and to hear Edie’s humble gratitude, along with an honest plea to carry on poetry in community. Big repurcussions, said Edie, politically and socially and even economically. Maybe art really will save us.
Lately I have found myself longing for a dictionary, a road map, a phone book, the anticipation of an answering machine. Things visceral and crinkly, like microfiche in the library basement or an air mail envelope. Last Sunday afternoon felt like that. Edie said she didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want it to end, either. I wanted to smash my cell phone and write a poem.
Bless Edie, bless the poets and the poems, bless the postcard book, bless Collected Works. Snow feathers ash wind place sensation longing digging contented frozen sorbet winter kiss.
Buy the postcard book. $15 a pop.
~ Kira Jones
Poetry Storm 2.0 Sunday Program:
Joanne Dominique Dwyer
Obi Tom Knobbi
Jon Davis, Santa Fe Poet Laureate
Thank-you to Collected Works Bookstore, Dorothy and Mary, and Christopher.
Thank-you to all the poets for supporting this project.
Proceeds from sales of the Snow Poems Postcard Book fund future Snow Poems projects.
images – Katie Macaulay