When Community Comes Full “Circle”


Picture this, it’s a Saturday afternoon, warmer than usual in October; Albuquerque is quiet, trying to figure out what its going to do for the day… There are some options for sure. One of the options is do the laundry that will be waiting on Sunday, and will scream “too late,” on Monday morning… could get ahead of the game and go ahead and do that, right? There’s also an empty fridge, and pantry, that are begging to be filled. The trip to the grocery store is a short bike ride, a bus, or even the car start and short jaunt down the street, away… could do that. Then… last but not least, somewhere out there, there is a lonely tap room – one that is made happy at the idea of being filled with Burqueños. “Bring em’ all,” this brewery says… and you feel in your heart of drinkers’ hearts that you are in fact, one of “em.” So what do you do – well – you head down to Tractor Brewing Company of course…


The story continues, as this Saturday did, when many thirsty poets from all over Albuquerque, felt that pull to the pulling on taps and pouring of tasty brews, on one of the Beer Farms in Burque. Tractor Brewing Wells Park, hosted a Word Craft Circle Fundraiser, this weekend, by way of an installment of the ever growing in popularity, All-Star Poetry Slam, series. Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez, and Executive Director of Word Craft Circle, Lee Francis, recently approached Tractor Brewing Company about the idea. Tractor being the community business that we are, jumped at the idea of engaging in and encouraging further engagement in the literary and performing arts.

A deal was made – and a show was planned, promoted, and hosted – what ensued was a battle of words! The winner, well, the winner reaped the amazing prize and reward of a FREE VIP Pass to the upcoming Returning The Gift Conference in December of 2015, a conference centered around the tradition of story telling, and the practice of literary and performing arts, with a focus on the Indigenous/Native voices in our communities. Sweet deal right? The prize pushed performers, to pick their best poems, and put them on the stage! A 3 round, knock down, drag out, verbal wrestling match was had – and in the end, it was love and hugs, with one lucky winner!

But that day – that warmer than usual, man I really should do the laundry or go grocery shopping kind of day… on that day, there was a whole a tap room full of winners. The winners were the school teacher who was rejuvenated by the words he heard over a tasty pint, the woman who held her husband as they listened smiled and cried, the 12 year old who kicked the whole thing off under the watchful eyes of Dad and Mom, and the event organizer and non-profit Executive Director, Lee Francis – who saw a community that took their time to express with their presence, the message of “today, we took time to be with you, because this mission and vision are important.” This past Saturday was about so much more than one fundraiser, and the people who left or stayed because of, or to hear some poetry. This Saturday was about community – and how in said communities, when we come together, dreams come true. Local businesses supporting local artists really do speak to the nature of things coming “full circle.” Tractor Brewing’s support of Word Craft Circle is a show of support, for the “we’ve been there,” and the needed “good luck” wishes – This Saturday past, Albuquerque, you told a story I will always listen to – one of: love, community, and progress! Cheers!

Tractor Good Times Liaison,
Carlos Contreras
photo credit: Anthony Evans Photography