Category Archives: Tuscon, Arizona

Tuscon, Arizona



What: The New Pueblo: A Multilingual Celebration of Voice and Culture from Tucson and the Sonoran Desert. A 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE event.



Where: El Presidio Park Plaza, on the grounds of the historic Pima County Courthouse, 160 W. Alameda

When: 3:00PM-7:00PM, September 24th, 2011.


On fb:


In answer to the global call from 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE, “The New Pueblo: A Multilingual Celebration of Voice and Culture from Tucson and the Sonoran Desert” will hold its first annual festival of language and action at Tucson’s El Presidio Park, from 3:00PM-7:00PM, on September 24th, 2011. As participants at one of more than 600 simultaneously scheduled events in 450 cities and 95 countries—from Egypt to Afghanistan to the Ivory Coast to Columbia—performers and audience members alike will represent Southern Arizona in the world’s largest ever poetry reading. The New Pueblo shares the 100TPFC commitment to make September 24 the first day in a critical mission to “seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability.”

The New Pueblo will be a broad and inclusive event, premised on the idea that on a Southern Arizona landscape where three distinct geographies swirl to form an ecotone of unparalleled diversity, humans can and should do the same. Our distinct blend of Indigenous, Hispanic, Anglo, and African-American cultures has been enriched by immigrants from South and Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the African subcontinent. We’ve become a rainbow of hyphens. Sudanese-American, Vietnamese-American, Lebanese-American: The list is long. The New Pueblo embraces the contributions from every race, religion, culture, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation as essential to the fabric of our shared Sonoran identity. In the New Pueblo, each living being is a strand of our threaded goodness, each hyphen a rung in the ladder of hope. The New Pueblo rejects any form of violence. It also honors the sacrifice of veterans and the burdens born by the families of those who serve. It links arms with workers, seeks the wisdom of elders, and protects and nourishes children. It sees the wounds our current lifestyle inflicts upon the earth and recognizes the only possible future as community centered, all-inclusive, and built on a foundation of sustainability. Above all, in consciously choosing the difficult path of the artist who bears witness, the New Pueblo reclaims the power of language as a tool for waging peace.

*Capoeira Mandinga Tucson will be conducting all-age capoeira workshops from 3:30-5:00.

*Lisa Levine and friends from the U of A MFA program in creative writing will be painting children’s faces.

*We’ll have two 30 minute open mic sessions—at 4:20 and 5:30—so audience members can add their words to those from the following line-up:

v  Ben Quick ¤ Essayist, Poet, Teacher, Activist ¤ Organizer and Host ¤ Hometown: Dixon, IL ¤

v  Kristen Nelson ¤ Founder and Executive Director of Casa Libre en la Solana ¤

v  Mike Wilson ¤ Tohono O’odham Human Rights Activist

v  Lisa Bowden ¤ Co-founder and Publisher of Kore Press ¤ Kore’s GRRLS Literary Activism Project

v  Aisha Sloan ¤ Essayist, Teacher, Activist ¤ Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

v  Sewing the Seeds: A Women’s Writing Collective presents: Mari Herreras ¤ Rosi Andrade ¤ Geneva Escobar ¤ Elena Díaz Bjorkquist ¤ Jenny Fiero ¤ Kaitlin Meadows ¤ Wanda Poindexter

4:20-4:50 OPEN MIC

v  Chet Phillips ¤ Essayist, Poet, Activist ¤ Cascabel Working Group Co-Chair

v  Waylon Nakai Begay ¤ Dine Poet, Scholar, Activist ¤ Hometown: Shonto, AZ

v  Tucson Youth Poetry Slam and YWCA’s Nuestra Voz present: Sarah Gonzales ¤ Director of Racial Justice Programs, Tucson YWCA ¤ Alexia Vasquez, Sunnyside High Alum ¤ Amy Briseno, Sunnyside High Alum ¤ Enrique Garcia, Junior at Pueblo High

5:30-6:00 OPEN MIC

v  Lisa O’Neill ¤ Essayist, Teacher, Musician, Activist ¤ Hometown: New Orleans, LA

v  Leon De La Rosa ¤ Professor of Art at the Universidad Autónoma de CIudad Juárez ¤

v  Ocotillo Poetry Slam, Tucson’s official poetry slam presents: Maya Asher ¤ Shaikh Sammed ¤ Brian Towne ¤ Mickey Randelman ¤ Melissa Della Femina.


*Every artist and performer is Tucson-based and is giving his or her time to help make this historic event a success. We believe in Tucson. Remember:

Everyone is welcome to set up non-staked tents and booths, pass out literature, sign up volunteers, collect petition signatures, grow membership and sponsor rolls, display art of every form, and conduct peaceful campaigns for any inclusive cause.

We encourage–in fact, we need–groups or individuals to provide children’s activities such as face painting, chalk art, and any language-centered expression. Activities that showcase Non-Western cultural or ethnic traditions are especially welcome.

The New Pueblo will be especially grateful to groups willing to donate and distribute bottled water and/or prepackaged food—candy, chips, etc. Buying a few bags of pre-wrapped treats from the 17th St. Market or other grocers carrying international selections of food and passing them out to festival goers is a great way to highlight the gifts of a culture. If you wish to go further, please contact Pima County Health Department at (866) 939-PIMA (7462) or (520) 243-7770 to ensure health code compliance. If your group possesses a current permit from the PCHD and wishes to distribute unpackaged items, please contact event organizer Ben Quick at or or 520-250-0799. That’s me. J

As per city ordinance, the buying or selling of any good or service on city property is prohibited. Exceptions may be possible, but only through following the proper channels, beginning with contacting event organizer.

Ben Quick

Department of English

Modern Languages Building

University of Arizona 85721

Ben’s Personal Webpage and Blog:


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