Poets' Picnic

Poetry not only expresses emotion through the often rhythmic qualities of language but invokes creativity and passion through the creator of the spoken word. Poets Picnic celebrates the creativity through workshops and performances.


This event has already happened.
May 07, 2022
10:30 AM - 04:00 PM


Open Space Visitor Center
6500 Coors Blvd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120


The 2022 Annual Poets’ Picnic is a day-long event that includes viewing of Weathergrams throughout the grounds, a haiku workshop and nature walk in the morning, and an afternoon of poetry with featured readers plus open mic sessions, with a performance by Wise Crane Taiko Group. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunch while enjoying music and poetry outdoors. Light refreshments and food truck fare available for purchase. Free admission, open to all.


Escribiente calligraphers inscribed haiku selections from New Mexico poets onto brown paper tags called Weathergrams. These are displayed on trees and bushes on the Open Space grounds. Chapbooks of these Weathergram poems will be on sale to benefit the Open Space Alliance, a volunteer organization which supports and promotes Open Space activities.



ONGOING Weathergram viewing throughout the Open Space Visitor Center grounds


10:30 am - 11:30 am: Outdoor Haiku workshop RSVP (505) 768-4950 to reserve a place.

10:30 am - 11:30 am: Gingko walk RSVP (505) 768-4950 to reserve a place.

12:00pm – 4:30 pm: Picnic on the patio and enjoy the view! Bring a lunch and your picnic blanket. Some seating available or bring your own spectator chairs. Light refreshments available by donation. Food truck fare for purchase.

12:00pm – 12:45 pm: Drumming performance by Wise Crane Taiko Group 

Wise Crane Taiko is an innovative small ensemble made up of amateur drummers from all walks of life performing traditional Japanese drumming music plus original contemporary compositions. Their goal is to promote individual creative expression, support wellness, empower diverse voices and provide education across cultures to build a more accepting and harmonious world.

12:00pm – 3:30 pm: New Mexico Small Press book sales and information tables.

12:45 – 1:00 pm:  Opening Remarks

1:00 pm –4:00 pm: Featured Poets and Open Mic. Featured Poets Gregory Candela, Damien Flores, Jessica Helen Lopez, and Barbara Rockman. Open Mics hosted by Dale Harris and Scott Wiggerman

Featured Poets Bios:

Gregory (Goyo) Candela, professor emeritus at University of New Mexico, has published two collections of poetry (Surfing New Mexico—2001 and Shallow-Rooted Heart—Dos Gatos Press, 2018) and written six produced plays. Recent publications include poems in the Harwood Anthology, Malpaís Review, Adobe Walls, Sin Fronteras, Van Gogh’s Ear, Cyclamens and Swords, Monterey Poetry Review, Italian Americana, Circe’s Lament (Anthology) and Weaving the Terrain (Anthology of Southwestern 100-Word Poems).

Damien Flores is a national poetry slam champion and coach and hosts the Spoken Word Hour on 89.9 KUNM-FM. He’s twice been named Poet of the Year by the New Mexico Hispano Entertainer's Association, and received the 2008 Lena Todd Award for creative non-fiction from the UNM English Department. His book of poems, Junkyard Dogs, was published by West End Press and his work has been featured in several anthologies, magazines, and newspapers.

Dale Harris enjoys organizing community art and spoken word events. She has published four poetry books and recordings and her work is widely anthologized.

Jessica Helen Lopez is a City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate, Emeritus and the host of the PBS arts-based television show ¡COLORES! She is a national recognized award-winning slam poet and the author of four collections of poetry. Lopez is an adjunct instructor for the University of New Mexico Chicano Studies Department, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and the Native American Community Academy.

Barbara Rockman is author of Sting and Nest, winner of the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and to cleave, recipient of the National Press Women Prize and finalist for the International Book Award. She teaches poetry at Santa Fe Community College, Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families and in community workshops. Barbara lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Scott Wiggerman, a 2021 inductee to the Texas Institute of Letters, is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Leaf and Beak: Sonnets, and an editor of several volumes, including best-selling craft books Wingbeats I & II: Exercises & Practice in Poetry. He frequently leads poetry workshops, in particular in poetic forms.




Christine Vasquez