SOMOS

MISSION STATEMENT:

SOMOS, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest, supports and nurtures the literary arts, both written and spoken, honoring cultural diversity in the Southwest. Our vision is to see a community culturally enhanced and enriched through heightened literacy.

HISTORY:

Taos, New Mexico has long been a haven for the creative soul. Since the arrival of literary notables Willa Cather and D.H. Lawrence in the early twentieth century, literature has played a prominent role in the area’s rich cultural landscape. As the literary arts flourished, the need for formal community support became apparent, which ultimately led to the non-profit incorporation of SOMOS, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest, in 1983.

Since then, we have expanded into our present role as a respected literary resource center whose outreach extends to the greater community of Northern New Mexico – and beyond. Our live readings, workshops, conferences, and festivals not only showcase accomplished writers, but also encourage creativity in novice writers from all walks of life. Our e-newsletter will keep you informed of literary events and writers' opportunities; sign up now.

SOMOS is a membership organization. The generosity of our supporters allows us to honor our commitment of presenting the very best of the literary arts to the Taos area at little or no cost when possible. We cordially invite you to join us in answering the call of the Muse of the Southwest.

BOARD/STAFF:

​Alan Macrae

is the President of the Board of Directors of SOMOS and is the author of Mud, Space and Spirit, the pioneering book of New Mexico 60’s architecture. A native New Mexican and local builder, he is also a published poet and novelist.

​Janet Webb

is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of SOMOS and owner of Webb Design Inc., a Taos, New Mexico design and marketing company focused on the tourism industry and the fine arts arena. She has lived in Taos since 1974.

​Prudy Abeln

is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of SOMOS and holds a BA in Political Science/Education from Colorado College and an MBA from the University of Utah. Most of her career she was a Mortgage Loan Officer with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. She is currently involved in Taos as President of the Taos Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (TABBI), Elder at First Presbyterian Church, Asst. Governor, District 5520, Rotary International, Assoc. Board of the Taos Art Museum. Prudy is co-owner, with her husband John, of Dreamcatcher Bed & Breakfast Inn.

​Colette LaBouff

Colette is Executive Director of the Taos Center for the Arts. She has an MFA in poetry a Ph.D. in English from University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Mean (U. of Chicago Press, 2008), a book of prose poems, and "Holdings," a text-object forthcoming from Container Press in 2019. She is currently the Poetry Editor at Zócalo Public Square

​Jim Yates

Jim worked overseas from 2006-2014 for the American Embassies in Tanzania, Ukraine, and Guyana. In Tanzania, he worked as the Media PEPFAR Outreach Coordinator writing articles and coordinating with the local media to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Prior to that he developed a small subdivision and he is currently active with the Taos Rotary Club.

​Kathy Fitzgerald

is a Board Member of SOMOS and was magna cum laude in English from Harvard University. Interpreter for national Italian TV station in Rome, Italy; worked at Boston’s PBS TV station; co-founder of Ithaca Films, a film production entity; board member of Poet’s Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In California, Kathy was active on boards such as Global Fund for Women. She and her husband, Michael, have produced numerous films shot around the world and several that have been set in the Southwest, including "The Three Burials," and "The Homesman."​

Ariana Kramer

Development and Communications Director; Poetry Month Curator. Ariana was

raised in Taos, and holds a BA in Biology (Reed College) and an MS in Leadership in Ecology, Culture & Learning (Portland State University). She has worked for many nonprofits in roles including volunteer, office manager, educator, program and volunteer coordinator, executive assistant and director. She is a freelance writer and poet.

​Jan Smith

is the Executive Director of SOMOS and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, was the curator of the SOMOS Summer/Winter Writers Series from 2009-2015. She is a 2012 recipient of an award from Southwest Writers for her short story, "Breasts," and a 2014 first place award winner for an excerpt from her memoir,         "Blink Like Crazy."

Johanna Debiase

Prose Month Curator; Johanna DeBiase is the author of Mama & the Hungry Hole (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2015). She writes from New Mexico where she has been spellbound by the energy vortex of Taos Mountain for over a dozen years. Originally from New York, she earned her BA in Literature and Creative Writing from Bard College and her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her creative work—including short stories, flash fiction and video poems— has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Portland Review, Atticus Review, Monkeybicycle, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Convergence and Prick of the Spindle, among others. When she is not writing, she teaches yoga, collages, sells vintage clothing and cooks vegetarian food for her daughter and husband. Visit www.JohannaDeBiase.com for more information.

Krystal Cretecos

Young Writers Program Curator; Krystal graduated from CU Boulder with a BA in Psych/Anthro and received a TEFL certification to teach English abroad. She ended up traveling the world for five years, teaching English and working for non-profits, mostly in Latin America, where she became fluent in Spanish, mediocre at Portuguese, and enraptured by new cultures. Two years ago she was reminded of the majesty of her own home land by Standing Rock and Yellowstone and landed in Taos with a Volvo and a backpack. Since then she has self-published a book of poetry, Alight From Within, become an amateur harpist and singer, begun martial training in gongfu and qigong, taught many a poetry and writing workshop to youth and become locally famous within groups of children as an impromptu storyteller/fairy. She currently facilitates a Girl's Empowerment Club at Taos Day School, teaches private writing classes, nannies, teaches media literacy and works with SOMOS Young Writers Program as both curator and volunteer for a 5th and 6th grade poetry crew. She writes primarily poetry but also children's stories, songs, short stories, memoir, and grants when necessary, always with a deep reverence and gratitude for the Earth, the Water, the People and Life.