Beatlick Press was lucky to ride on the coattails of Jules Nyquist as she held a double header on Saturday, March 21, to launch her latest book of poetry, “Behind the Volcanoes.”
Two days after the true vernal equinox, literally to the minute, a group of nine met at the Volcano trails to help Jules make an official launch of the book. With the peaks of the volcanoes in the backdrop Jules read passages as hikers passed by on the trail.
Jules sees a metaphor to death and dying in the Albuquerque volcanoes. Her poems are an examination of her own responses to losses of close friends, some taken early in life. She reminded us that the volcanoes are not dead, only dormant, creating a allegorical tension for what may still come.
Among those attending here were Stewart Warren, who had to come to the earliest function since he had a conflict with his own book launch on the same day, Mitch Reyes whom we all miss since East of Edith open mics closed, Billy Brown, host of Fixed & Free readings, Jules real estate agent, Deborah Woodside Coy, Jessie Ehrenberg, John Ashbaugh, John Roche visiting from Rochester, New York, and an additional admirer of Jules, whose name I can’t recall.
We toasted the launch with sparkling apple cider and some agreed to meet again at three in the afternoon for the champagne and cake reception for “Beyond the Volcanoes” at the Cosmos Café at the Factory on Fifth, original site of Jules’ Poetry Playhouse.
The afternoon reception featured Alicia Ultan on viola, and Bonnie Schmader on flute entertaining the arriving guests. Beatlick Press reps opened the presentation with a tribute to Jules and acknowledgement of her huge contribution to the poetry community in Albuquerque since she relocated her from Minnesota three years ago.
Another smash hit was the volcano cake and champagne. Jules enhanced the multi-media experience with an overhead screen flashing images of the volcanoes and surrounding area where the equinox reception was held. Jules shared with her audience that she appreciates the openness of sky and serenity of this location.
One listener was overheard to comment she had lived in Albuquerque her whole life and Jules taught her more than this native had learned in her lifetime about the local volcanoes.
The whole affair was swank and first class, just like Jules herself.