of the performances featured here were produced during the 22-year
run of the Taos Poetry Circus, from 1982 through 2003.
best known of the Festival’s ongoing reading series was
the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
POETRY BOUT. This improvisational event featured the best
poets in a competitive performance staged as a boxing match. Billed
as the “Main Event” of the Circus, it was staged in
ten rounds, with a boxing ring, referee, bell, ring person and
three judges whose scoring was patterned after the “Illinois
Ten-Point Must System.”
The CONTEMPORARY VOICES
READING SERIES showcased cutting-edge work by the world’s
finest poets. The 1st Taos Poetry Circus featured Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky in the inaugural reading in this Series.
The GLOBAL VOICES READING
SERIES featured cross-cultural communication, exposing many
non-mainstream poets who worked with English as a second language.
This series began in 1983 with readings by Denise Chavez and sci-fi
master Roger Zelazny.
The TAG TEAM MATCHES
pitted two 2-poet teams—one of older masters, one of younger
players—against each other in an 8-round verbal duel before
judges. Begun in 1998, this series showcased poetry in performance,
“down and dirty” and at its best!
THE NEW MEXICO INVITATIONAL READING
SERIES showcased the best poets in the state. The first reading in the series was held at the historic Martinez Hacienda in 1993 and featured Joan Logghe, Terry Jacobus, Levi Romero, Al Simmons,
and The Luminous Animal.
As well as TPC performances, these archives include EXHIBITION
POETRY BOUTS, readings in the DEAD POET SERIES and other events. THE nXt GENERATION YOUTH POETRY SLAM involved those under twenty
years of age, whereas THE OPEN SLAM included poets of all ages.
The items listed represent only a portion of the Archives holdings.
We are in the process of accessing all old videotape and transferring
to digital formats. As we prepare new programs from this historic
footage, more performances will be added to the list. So check
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Minor Heron, 512 Camino San Miguel, Taos NM 87571