Manzano Mountains Art Council
Sunflower Festival
Mountainair 87036

Poets & Writers Picnic

Saturday, August 27th, 2005, 12 noon to 5 pm

  Meet us at the Gazebo in the Shaffer Hotel garden

poetry, music, open mike, food, guest readers, and more ...

Come to a Manzano Mountain Art Council literary event in the Heart of New Mexico on the last weekend in August. Nostos rules. The 8th Annual Poets & Writers Picnic again returns to its traditional setting -- the gazebo garden behind Pop Shaffer's famous wild folk art fence next to the historic Shaffer Hotel. (Concurrent with the Sunflower Festival)

Featuring: poetry, music, open mike, featured readers. Bring a picnic lunch or dine in the Shaffer dining room. This free, much anticipated annual event features local and visiting poets and writers, and live music.

Directions: one block south of the intersection of Highways 55 & 60.

More about the Poets & Writers Picnic and its history. You can also contact Picnic's founder,Dale Harris, 505-242-4930


Shaffer gate
The gate to the garden and gazebo is open - walk righ through
prize winning photo by Madeleine Gutweine

Poets & Writers Picnic Featured Readers

This year's

(more to come

Poets & Readers Choice

New feature! Listen to guest poets read their favorite poems. Bring a favorite poem to read.

Sunflower Poetry Writing Workshop

download the brochure (.pdf)

Dale Harris & Gregory Candela

When: Friday, Aug. 26 - Saturday, Aug. 27

Where: The Shaffer Hotel,

How much:  $95 (early registration). Includes workshop and meals. Complete package only. Lodging not included.

call (925-8970) or e-mail (please write "Sunflower Poetry Writing Workshop" on the subject line) for further details and enrollment information..

 Poets of
Picnics Past


More poetry -  New Mexico Poets

Visit New Mexico poets, this year's featured readers, last year's readers, and more readers from picnics past. Many, including organizer Dale Harris, are past and future Poets & Writers Picnic participants.

Mark your calendars for August 27th and come to Mountainair.  As has become custom, this Annual Poets & Writers Picnic is again on the same week-end as the Sunflower Festival (sponsored by the Mountainair Chamber of Commerce).

And now - a poem for the occasion...

Manzano Sunflowers
Dale's Sunflowers
by Dale Harris

 You missed Indian Market
And of course the sunflowers.
As usual they swept across August
At first a few, a yellow trickle along the fence line
Then more, making pools in the pasture
And splashing down into the arroyo
Then incredibly many more,
Dappling the distance,
As though a giant hand had buttered the land.

Yet with the entire prairie to expand into,
They prefer crowds of themselves
They mass along the roadside,
Lined up as though a parade were about to pass.
Here and there one stands alone,
But not for long.
Soon his kin will come
And there will be sunflower squalor
There will be sunflower squalor, a floral slum.

Once they are out,
They will not be ignored.
Stretching their skinny stalks,
They top our roofline,
Press against the window screens,
And peep in at the door.
Familiar foot paths to the out buildings are obscured,
And from the road we seem afloat,
Our cabin, an odd tin boat
In a sea of sunflower faces.

They are the most staccato of flowers.
I catch them humming snatches of polkas
And John Phillips Sousa Marches,
Bobbing in the wind to the Boogaloo,
The Boogie Woogie and the Lindy Hop.
I call their names,
Clem, Clarissa, Sarah Jane
To try and tame them.

My neighbor comes by.
She has a field full
They’re useless, she complains.
Her horses can’t eat them.
I should hope not! I exclaim,
After she’s gone.

I don’t remember if you even liked sunflowers
But you liked life
And they are all about that.
Today I wrote to your family, finally.
I expect they are occupying themselves,
With beautiful gestures
In order to get over the grief of you.
As for me, I have sunflowers.
for more information about the Poets & Writers Picnic, contact Dale Harris, 505-242-4930

Manzano Mountain Art Council / The Art Center of Mountainair / Studio & Gallery Tour / Chautauqua

Mountainair Online
Sunflower Festival
Mountainair 87036

*not the offical MMAC page - part of the Mountainair87036 pages by Vanessa Vaile
page updated June 12, 2005 1