Tag Archives: Poetry

Writing in the Body Workshop Series

While this isn’t related to my podcast, Yoga for Writing,  it deeply relates to my path of bringing yoga to writers. Joining forces with the talented Taos poet, Robin Shawver, we introduced a series of seasonal workshops called Writing in the Body: a yoga and writing workshop. Finding your voice through movement, we use yoga, guided meditation and writing prompts to help writers supersede their purely intellectual mind and speak through their bodies. In our inaugural class last month, students generated some amazing work that was both creative and therapeutic. Also, it was fun. I like how this method compliments my podcast in that it is more related to hatha yoga and the physical aspect of the practice than to jnana yoga, the intellectual part. The combination makes for a great balance. Your body is trying to speak to you, what does it have to say?

Video Poem: 27 Bones

27 Bones from Johanna DeBiase on Vimeo.

Video Poem on Atticus Review


Super excited to announce that Atticus Review has published my video poem, When They Came For Us, on their website. This is my second video poem and both of them have found a home on the internet with literary journals. My first one, Threadbare, with Prick of the Spindle. This encourages me to create more video poems as more online journals are interested in multi-media forms. Also, it’s tons of fun.

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.

My Poetry Chapbook on Etsy

When I was pregnant with my daughter back in 2007, I started a series of poems about my experiences. After she was born, I edited them and turned it into a chapbook, all while a newborn suckled on my breast. Since then, my daughter has continued to fuel my writing habit and I write more now than every before. Granted, I have less time to write, but that is what drives me to be more disciplined. Recently, I decided to sell my chapbook on Etsy. Deeply involved in my novel, I am not writing poems at the moment. But, I thought that perhaps there were some people out there that might be interested in a book of poems about pregnancy.  I need to warn you though. If you are looking for happy sunshine poems about how great it is to give birth and all that jazz, this might not be the book for you. This book is about the nitty gritty, as well as, the beauty. That’s what it’s all about after all. So, if you want a copy, I am asking a measly $5.20. If you can’t spare a dime, let me know, I’ll send you a copy for free.

Reading at the Verse/Converse Poetry Festival

Had a great time at the Verse/Converse Poetry Festival this weekend in Taos, New Mexico. Took an inspiring workshop in the morning  with Lynne Prosope and Roger Bonair-Agard. Read with the Zanni Crew, Michael Ferrara and Ned Dougherty, in the afternoon. (Thanks to them for including me.)

If you missed the reading, here are two short videos of me performing my first poem and then my final poem. (I read four.) Sorry for the low quality. It was filmed on a point and shoot camera.

Flash Fiction for May

New Petroglyphs in. Very poetic month for the group.

Postcard Fiction Collaborative.

Fourth Annual Verse/Converse Poetry Festival in Taos, NM

Here is the full schedule for the Verse/Converse Poetry Fest 2011. Note that I will be reading with Ned Dougherty and Michael Ferrara (to represent Zanni) on June 4th from 3:45- 5pm at the Harwood Museum.  Open reading to follow so bring your stuff… Continue Reading →


Newly inspired Petroglyphs.

November PFC

The November Postcard Fiction Collaborative used two different photos and came up with some really quirky stuff…