Voces 2013

June 19, 2013

Breaking News: Teenagers Decide to Spend A Month of Their Summer Writing
“The Brightest Stars on The Mesa” will be sharing their work at the end of the month

Albuquerque, NM – For the entire month of June, a cohort of teenagers from across Central New Mexico have decided to take their dreams into their own hands. Rather than getting a job (a real need for many New Mexico teens) or sitting home playing video games (for those who have that privilege), these teenagers decided to embark on a journey to become professional writers in Voces.

Each June, the National Hispanic Cultural Center offers Voces: Writing Institute for Youth, a four-week, intensive writing workshop for high school students. Writing mentors works with a group of students for a month, guiding them through a curriculum of writing, editing, and performing. Writers, published authors, musicians, communications strategists, comedians and local poets with varied experience are invited each summer to participate as instructors and role models. The public is invited to a special celebration and FREE performance of the students’ work on Friday, June 28th at 7pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Additionally, the National Hispanic Cultural Center publishes a collection of their work each fall.

A 12 year-old program, this year’s team of writing mentors is led by Carlos Contreras. Contreras began as a student in the Voces program in its first year (2001). Progressing through the ranks from student, to student mentor, to program coordinator, Contreras is also a co-creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater collaborative Urban Verbs. Along with artist-producer Colin Diles and Albuquerque poet laureate Hakim Bellamy, Urban Verbs has acted as lead facilitators and artists-in-residence at this year’s Voces. Besides just helping the students edit and better their writing and performance, Urban Verbs’ involvement gives students a unique opportunity to learn more about DIY models of self-distribution for their creative output.

“In this day and age, it is not enough to have something to say,” says Contreras. “You must know how to demand an audience, that is the only way to make a difference and a living as a writer. We are teaching our young writers that piece as well.” Through the Urban Verbs network, the Voces students have enjoyed visits from the 2013 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team, comedienne Sarah Kennedy, Denver’s Bianca Mikahn, publisher V.B. Price, Oakland-based communications strategist Karlos Gauna Schmeider, and many more.






I’ll Drink To That Bday Edition and Black Book Release Party!

May 26th come out and have a cold one with us while we celebrate Carlos, Hakim and Esme’s birthdays! Also pick up the new chapbook (The Black Book) by Carlos Contreras and (Swear) Hakim’s recently published book!



Urban Verbs Workshop this past weekend was a blast!

Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque Releases His First Collection of Poems A 35 year-old press helps get the 34 year-old author into the history books.

Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque Releases His First Collection of Poems
A 35 year-old press helps get the 34 year-old author into the history books.

With more than 35 years and 100 titles to its credit, West End Press is fiercely independent publishing house founded in New Your City and now based in Albuquerque, NM. Joining a roster of distinguished West End Authors (such a Pablo Neruda and Meridel le Sueur), Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy was also founded in the Northeast and now based in Albuquerque.

Though West End Press invited Bellamy to submit a manuscript many months before Bellamy was selected as Albuquerque’s first poet laureate, SWEAR is in print eleven months into his two-year appointment. With a book release party and reading announcement coming soon, here is what West End Press had to say about its newest author:

In his debut collection of hard-hitting poems, Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy addresses the issues important to our day—politics, work, and art. Bellamy moves from a free-thinking attitude of deliverance to a provocative new space where the reader can reflect on the poet’s inquisition of the 1%, working class life in urban and rural America, and the transcendent value of hip hop as one of our top exports and global contributions.

Here are a few endorsements of the book:

SWEAR politicizes the human condition in a manner that balances the abstract with the concrete. Bellamy’s work is polemic like Amiri; satiric like Nietzsche; iconoclastic like Mao; passionate like Neruda. Ministering without preaching, Bellamy’s sense of metaphor whistle-blows on the top-down without fear of consequence.

Bruce George
Co-Founder of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on HBO

Hakim Bellamy is a man engaged with the world. His words are more direct than lyrical. His poems are warning signs, headlines and prescriptions. From government to Occupy-the economic and political blues finds Bellamy wearing Langston’s hat and coat. Here is the same type of urgency Hughes felt in the 1930s after the Harlem Renaissance. Today our eyes turn to Albuquerque. SWEAR will tell you what’s coming next.

E. Ethelbert Miller
Author, activist, and director of the African American Center at Howard University
For more endorsements and information (including the electronic press kit) about SWEAR, visit beyondpoetryink.com Distributed by University of New Mexico Press, review copies and author interviews can be requested from West End Press by contacting Amanda Sutton at Amanda@westendpress.org. For more information on Hakim Bellamy, please visit hakimbe.com

Spread the word!!


Return top
iTunes Bandcamp Youtube Twitter Facebook

| Copyright 2010 Viscerel View Entertainment
| Powered by Wordpress | Original Theme, Piano Black Modified by Midazwell