Poetry Bouts

Anne MacNaughton
Peter Rabbit

The Luminous Animal

Tongue 'n Groove

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Lucid Performance - Peter Rabbit


Poet, performer, historian, editor, artist and part-time professor, Anne L. MacNaughton teaches creative writing and performance in schools and universities. Along with her partner Peter Rabbit she co-founded the Taos Poetry Circus in 1982. She and Rabbit are recipients of the New Mexico Literary Association’s 1st annual Appreciation Award, and of the 2009 Verse/Converse Festival’s Eternal Flame Award for Lifetime of Dedication to Poetry. An eponymous trophy, nicknamed “The Annie,” is awarded in her honor every year to the winning team at the Taos Invitational Youth Poetry Championship regional event. She is also an award-winning visual artist, an organic farmer, and co-founder of The Luminous Animal
jazz-poetry performance ensemble.

Born in Arkansas and raised in Houston, MacNaughton worked briefly at the Texas State Library as state archivist for historical manuscripts before leaving graduate school and moving to Libre, an artists' community in Colorado where she started an alternative grade school. Relocating to northern New Mexico in the late 70s, she has worked as a desk clerk, librarian, prep cook, baker, paralegal, copyeditor, book designer, journalist, tutor, and for several years owned and operated an educational testing and tutoring service. Along the way she completed her MA in English with a concentration in poetry at the University of New Mexico.

She co-founded—along with half-dozen others including Peter Rabbit—the Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) in 1982. Along with Rabbit she established the Taos Poetry Circus that year. Serving for several years as executive and program director of the World Poetry Bout Association, she was director of the annual Taos Poetry Circus for several years, and established the Poetry Education Project in 1994.

In 1995 she established the first statewide youth slam championship in the nation through PEP, giving athletic letters to members of her award-winning teams for a dozen years thereafter. With assistance from National Endowment of the Arts and the State of New Mexico, MacNaughton developed Speak Up! Curriculum ™, a poetry appreciation and writing curriculum that encourages the performance of teen poetry while supporting the standardized writing standards in several states.




Her work has been published in many journals and anthologies, including The Best Poetry of 1989 (Scribners 1990), Robert Bly’s The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart (HarperCollins 1992), and In Company: an Anthology of New Mexico Poets after 1960 (UNM Press 2004). The New Mexico Poetry Renaissance (Red Crane, 1994), The Ecstatic Moment: The Best of Libido (Dell 1997), Written with a Spoon (Sherman Asher); Thus Spake the Corpse: (Black Sparrow 2000); XY Files (Sherman Asher, 2001), Written with a Spoon (Sherman Asher, 1995) and The Hell with Love Poems to Mend a Broken Heart (Time-Warner, 2002) among others.

Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, small magazines and periodicals including several volumes of Adobe Walls, Blue Mesa Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Taos Review, Libido, Crosswinds, Ant Farm,
Esprit, la Ventana, ARTlines, Taos Magazine, Seen From Space, Alma, Wordworks, The Taos News, Albuquerque Poetry Festival Anthology, 51% Magazine, Desnudas del desierto, Venus Envy, Howl,
and others.



“Poetry to the People: The Taos Poetry Circus, the World Heavyweight Championship Poetry Bout, and the World of Contemporary American poetry,” Poetry Flash, May/June 1993.history of literature, spoken word

Smugglin’ Blues, No Press 1993. poetry chapbook

“When the Soldiers Came: an Oral History of the Taos Pueblo Revolt of 1847.” unpublished essay.

Editor, The Nineties: The Best Poetry and Photos of the Taos Poetry Circus, 1990-1999. Pennywhistle Press, 2000. poetry, essays, photographs

Editor, Calendar of the Claude Elliott Manuscript Collection. Texas State Library, Archives Division, 1970. finding aid for historic papers collection

Editor, Wordworks, Libre, Colorado, 1976-1980. literary quarterly

She has also written literary reviews and features for the Santa Fe Reporter, the Taos News, and Taos Magazine and was a correspondent for The New Mexican Pasatiempo in the early 90s


Although MacNaughton considers herself primarily self-taught, as a child she was able to study briefly under Lowell Collins on scholarship to what is now the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and in her youth she took classes now and then in various university art programs. She has participated in several group shows in Taos and her illustrations have been printed in publications from Baton Rouge to Taos. She has won several awards, including placing at Taos County Fairs in the 1980s and an honorable mention from the Museum of Fine Arts as a teenager.



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