Tag Archives: Taos

The Inaugural Taos Writers Conference

I am teaching an all-day intensive workshop at the inaugural, upcoming Taos Writers Conference. It’s called New Fiction for the Digital Age. With the onset of the internet and social media, narratives have taken on several new forms that break apart previous ideas of what a story should be. I will read examples and demonstrate through generative writing exercises ways in which we can experiment with traditional writing forms for the internet or print.

You can register here by March 1st: www.taoswritersconference.org

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.

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.

July Postcard Fiction Collaborative


I contributed this month’s photo for PFC. It was taken in Taos on the day that Mumford and Sons played in our tiny town park. The whole event was a huge deal in our little town and everyone came out for it, even if they didn’t have tickets to see the show. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek take on that experience, which we had coined “The Mumpacolypse.” So, now you know the inside joke. You’re an insider now. Shhh.

New Petroglyphs and Tempo News

Petroglyphs was featured in the Taos News’s entertainment guide The Tempo this month. Deonne Kahler interviewed me about starting an online writing journal. I was happy to brag to her about all the great writers who work with me on Petroglyphs and all the great writers who live in Taos. I wasn’t able to read the article since I am in Ecuador, but I was told that it turned out well. We did get a few extra page views, but as I said in the interview, the most difficult thing about starting an online journal or blog or anything, really, is getting people to view it. So, thanks to you, right now, for reading: here.

21st Century Vox