Category Archives: Live Readings

Upcoming Reading for Prose Month

For the last five years, SOMOS, Taos’ literary society, has hosted a Poetry Month every April. This is the first year they are hosting a Prose Month. They chose November to coincide with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which I’m thrilled about it. This is my third year participating in NaNo. For Prose Month, I taught a workshop, Jump Start Your Novel. Next week, I will host a series of Write-Ins, where NaNo participants get together to write. I am most excited about my upcoming reading on the 18th with author, John Biscello, and musician, Ashleigh Grycner. No doubt it will be an interesting evening.

Book Tour Update

At Green Apple Books in San Francisco

At Green Apple Books in San Francisco

The book tour has been an amazing success with more benefits than I might have imagined. Besides spending time with family, I also got to reconnect with old friends. I wrote an article about the first half of my tour here at Foreword Reviews. One of the most unexpected benefits so far have been meeting readers and hearing what their experience with the book has been. Most of the time I’m stinky and dirty from living in my camper. I haven’t had time to do much of anything else. I’m not getting any richer and I’m fairly exhausted. But I’m having a blast! Seriously. I have two more readings scheduled in Portland and then I will be returning home. Keep an eye out for more updates.

With a co-worker from the bookstore in Seattle where we used to work and I read my book.

With an old co-worker from the bookstore in Seattle where we used to work and I read my book.


Mom and sister also attended my reading in Bellingham.

Mom and sister attended my reading in Bellingham.

Continue Reading →

Book Launch at SOMOS

Jo-reading-1 Jo-reading-2 Jo-reading-3Had a great time at the book launch last week at SOMOS in Taos. It was an honor to read with such great authors as Iver Arnegard and Linda Michel-Cassidy. A couple of friends said it was the first reading they had ever been to. I guess if I can get people to come to a reading, I’ve done my job. These photos are by Micheal Benanav. The last one is of me watching the film I made exclusively for the book tour (in other words, you can’t see it anywhere else until after the tour). I was a little nervous about showing the film because it was different than what I usually do, but I think it worked out well and it looked cool on the big screen. In a few days I’ll be reading all by myself (a first?) in Denver at the BookBar.

denver reading


Photos from Love On The Rocks

Taos, NM

February 13, 2015

Me, reading

Me, reading


The whole gang


Bruce Katlin


Gary Feuerman


Ned Dougherty


hee, hee


Clinton Murphy


Eric Mack


John Biscello


Linda Michel-Cassidy

Photos by Laura Brzozowski


Article in Taos News About Lit Up


Show producer and performer, John Biscello

Show producer and performer, John Biscello

Looks like it’s going to be another sold out performance. Check out the lovely write up we got in the Tempo for our upcoming storytelling/literary/comedy event. Great anti-Valentine’s Day propaganda.

Lit Up Taos Returns with Love on the Rock

Lit Up peeps

Lit Up peeps

As you may recall from our previous episode last fall, Lit Up Writers is a live show blending storytelling, literature and comedy. The show did so well to raise funds for the Metta Theatre youth program that it returns with a pre-Valentine’s Day treat.

Love on the Rocks will feature comedic tales revolving around the dysfunctional side of Eros. Heartbreak, crushes, kinks, obsession, and other barbed elements, affirming the words of the immortal Bard: ‘Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs.'”

I will be reading an essay about an ex-boyfriend who was both a blessing (he imported me to Alaska in 2000 and although our relationship only lasted 6 months, my relationship with Alaska lasted 6 years) as well as a curse, (I won’t give away that part of the story; you’ll have to go to the event to find out what happened).

Featuring:  Gary Feuerman, John Biscello, Johanna DeBiase (!), Eric Mack, Bruce Katlin, Linda Michel-Cassidy, Ned Dougherty, and Clinton Murphy. Emceed by Dan Cassidy, with a special musical performance by Joel Larson.

$15. Limited seating. Reservations HIGHLY encouraged, as the last show sold out. 575-758-1104. This show is intended for mature audiences.

Article in Taos News about Lit Up Taos


My talented husband, Eric Mack, performing at Lit Up Taos

Lit Up Taos premiered this Saturday at Metta Theatre and it was a blast. Honestly, I felt a lot of pressure to be funny. It’s one thing to do a reading and hope people like your work, but it’s another thing to anticipate the chuckles while you read. So, I had a couple of glasses of wine in the green room beforehand. I was second to last to go on. Meanwhile, I listened in on all the other amazing Taos writers do their thing as people cackled hysterically in the packed theater and felt grateful they were warming things up for me. Not to mention, totally impressed by all the talent we’ve got in this tiny town. Thanks again to Carolyn Martone for organizing this. Here is the article that appeared before the show in the local entertainment guide, Tempo.

Lit Up Comes to Taos


Los Angeles based writer and Wurlitzer Foundation Fellow, Carolyn Martone brings Lit Up Writers: a live storytelling show blending comedy and literature, to Taos to benefit SOMOS and Metta Young Artists this Saturday. Featuring the talent of: Linda Michel-Cassidy, John Biscello, Ned Dougherty, Joanne Nelson, Gary Feureman, Clint Murphy, Johanna DeBiase (that’s me!), Eric Mack and hosted by author, David Perez.  I’m so excited that Carolyn asked me to be a part of this!

I will be reading the personal essay, This American Hair Life, about my experiments with body hair while living in Alaska. A subdued version of this piece originally appeared on xoJane where it incited hundreds of angry comments about white people appropriating black culture. My response to this was to chant Sanskrit mantras for peace in my silk kimono while bellydancing to Latin beats.

Saturday, November 15th @ 7pm. Metta Theater, 1470 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. $15. Seating is limited, reservations suggested. 758-1104.

Ekphrasis and Xphrasis

Xphrasis April 25th

Xphrasis April 25th

Have you heard of this Ekphrasis thing? I like this definition I found on Wikipedia: “Ekphrasis has been considered generally to be a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form, and in doing so, relate more directly to the audience, through its illuminative liveliness.” I love the sound of “illuminative liveliness.” Apparently, this idea of one art form describing another art form is, literally, ancient and noted as far back as Homer’s Illiad in which he references the completed shape of Hephaestus’s shield.

If you follow my work or website, you know that for the past few years I have been active in the Postcard Fiction Collaborative, a form of ekphrasis where writers write flash fiction pieces inspired by photographs. You may also be aware of my participation in Pecha Kucha a couple of years back. Pecha Kucha, an international event, can also be considered a form of ekphrasis. Creatives have twenty slides and twenty seconds per slide to talk about their work. This use of image and spoken word (or sometimes in Taos, dance, music, poetry and improv) also allows two or more mediums to play off of each other.

Another example of Ekphrasis, might be video poems, which I love and have made two; Threadbare and Sweet Dreams. In these cases, I had already written the prose and used  video or photography to illuminate my writing.

Most recently, Ekphrasis has been used as a means of bringing art and poetry together in events all over the country.

The most interesting form of Ekphrasis comes when more than one artist is at play. Lucky for me, I live in the most creative small town in America (you can quote me on that) full of artists, writers, musicians, and philanthropists (we need those to support all the creatives). Thanks to one amazingly inspired poet, Jen Acampora, we will be having an Ekphrasis event on April 25th here in Taos titled, Xphrasis. The event will take place inside a Salon/Gallery space called Salon X, hence the play on the name, Ekphrasis to Xphrasis. Love it. All the writers will read their work for the opening which will have both the art and framed poems/flash on display for people to buy.

Additionally, as if that wasn’t enough, Acampora encouraged artist and writers to extend the conversation outside of the opening and gallery exhibit and started a interactive blog. Check it out here: Xphrastic. For the sake of  “illuminative liveliness,” I submited a piece to compliment a painting by the surrealist painter Randall LaGro.

21st Century Vox