I will be teaching a session titled, “Creative Cartography: You Are Here” at the West Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit Feb. 7-9 in downtown Albuquerque, NM.

“Poetic Routes” (www.poeticroutes.com) is an online, interactive poetry map pinpoints residents’ and visitors’ reflections and emotions on specific streets, buildings, and landmarks within Albuquerque. Through this poetic cartography, both emerging and established writers layer their voices with the history and cultural vibrancy of the city. This project, like the city itself, shows a complex and ever-changing set of relationships between us and our natural and built environment. To date, a spectrum of poets have been represented, from the celebrated former Poet Laureate Manuel Gonzalez, Joy Harjo, V.B. Price, Don McIver, and Margaret Randall, to the up-and-coming Cathy Cook, Jesse Montoya, and Jesse Yelvington. Poetry workshops are currently being run throughout the city to teach more people about place-based poetry and help them begin drafting their own poems about Albuquerque.

This workshop will combine site-specific inquiry and multidisciplinary arts using GPS-based technology to tell a story about a place using an interactive map. Artwork of a place values locales, knowing “who you are by knowing where you are” as the poet Wendell Berry once wrote. Place-based poetry and art has the ability to create timeless moments, express individual experiences in a universal way, and to craft a sense of communal identity. In this workshop, we will share methods and strategies to craft the beginning of creative cartography about your community that you can then develop further by hosting workshops within your discipline, whether that is creative writing, art, history, or oral tradition.

In this workshop, we will give a brief overview of creative cartographies, using the Poetic Routes site as the primary example. We will help participants brainstorm and begin to develop maps that are important to their communities. We will display and discuss various geospatial technologies, their pros and cons, and help participants choose the right platform for their communities. We will share lesson plans for workshops (on topics such as mapping, landmarks, and toponyms) that can be adapted to a variety of artistic media.

This 3-day summit is presented jointly by The National Consortium for CreativePlacemaking and ArtPlace America in partnership with the City of Albuquerque to develop the field in the following ten western states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The main theme for the event will be emerging pathways, and topics will include authenticity, placekeeping and belonging, access and the invisible. #CPLSummitWest will offer creative placemakers skills, inspiration, connections and ideas. #creativeplacemaking You can learn more at www.cpcommunities.org/west

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