Santa Fe Poet Laureate’s ‘Odes and Offerings’ Pairs Poetry with Visual Art


“Hanging Boat” artist: Julie Wagner. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Joan Logghe brings her two-year stint as Santa Fe Poet Laureate to a close with a very special exhibition, “Odes and Offerings,” at the Santa Fe Community Gallery.

Local artists were paired with local poets and the artists chose part of the text of the poem to include in their piece.

All the pieces were created specifically for this show.

Thirty-six works of art and 36 poems are included.

“It was an arranged marriage,” said Rod Lambert, curator of the exhibit. “Opening night was a blind date between the poets and the writers.”

Work of many kinds, including sculpture, mixed media, paintings and video are included in the show. 

“Bedtime Story” artist:  Sabra Moore. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Beginning poets as well as experienced writers are part of the exhibit. The melding of the written word with a solid media has resulted in something unique—words actually made into visual expression.

The exhibit includes a book of all the poems. Visitors can walk around the gallery and read the poetry as they look at the visual art.

 “The idea is not a poetry-inspired piece, but a piece where the text becomes part of the work of art,” Logghe said. “The show brings poetry to the public in an accessible way. I love this show. It delights me.”

Logghe sees the show as an offering—something to give to the community. 

“In Santa Fe we have such excellence in both visual arts and poetry. This is just a selection of the wonderful poets and artists,” Logghe said.

Two poetry readings of the works in the show will take place at the gallery as part of the exhibition.

On May 16, 13 poets will read. On May 23, another 13 poets will read. Both events will take place from 6-8 p.m.

A view of the exhibit. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Being Santa Fe Poet Laureate was “hard work and enormous fun,” Logghe said. As part of the job, Logghe visited elementary schools with the program “Joan and the Giant Pencil.”

“We had a blast and I’m going to keep doing it,” she said.

Logghe will bring her talents to UNM-Los Alamos this fall. She is teaching “Introduction to Creative Writing” from 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays Sept. 7-Dec. 7.

Visit registration information.

Poet Joan Logghe with “Small Window” by artist Bernadette Freeman with whom she was paired. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Here is an example of how the exhibit works. The painting is “Small Window” by Bernadette Freeman. The poem follows:

Unpunctuated Awe

Joan Logghe

For WS Merwin

So beautiful today

I don’t know what to do with it

I can’t be outside it’s too perfect

the morning glories are too too without

even ingesting their known iota of trip

the Maximillian sunflowers are poised

to bloom and even that potential is wildly

enticing into too beautiful The dues we paid

After the fires after the wind and smoke the terrible

Canyon fires of Santa Clara watershed tears shed

I could cry again today for the world we earned

paid its dues to too beautiful too beautiful

beautiful datura beautiful the Jewish New Year

I am already lamenting I stand naked for an hour

in my greenhouse watching the cereus flower

prepare for night blooming I stand naked before

my shower and after my shower  another phone call

from the too beautiful  I talk naked on the phone

because I don’t know how to manage today

with how I love too beautiful the node in the mail

from you how I love poets and painters who make

the world shine me I never want to set foot

inside a classroom with no windows

I want to speak poetry to those finches

and to the kale I will tell the kale I forgive the aphids

you are so greenly beautiful I love my body today

because it is the vessel that carried too beautiful

soon departing for other beauty don’t mention

it you say but in the too beautiful death

is already sharpening its scythe on too beautiful

its harvest of basil scent and mint too many

tomatoes and a glut of cucumbers and I forget

that I know how to preserve    I am doing it now

“Odes and Offerings” is on display at the Santa Fe Community Gallery (201 Marcy St.) though June 8. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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