Fundación Casa Wabi and the John Giorno Foundation present Dial-A-Poem Mexico, the first two-part posthumous edition of John Giorno's iconic public poetry service. It will be available to callers in Mexico free of charge starting on February 10, 2022.
First launched in 1968 after a conversation with William Burroughs, the ongoing project allows callers to access a selection of poetry by dialing in from their phone. Dial-A-Poem was unique in that it discovered the telephone as a venue of mass communication. More than one million people used the service, which inspired a range of artistic and commercial applications such as Dial-A-Joke, Dial Sports and Dial-A-Horoscope.
Mexico’s edition offers two numbers—free of charge to local callers—one with poetry from previous English editions and the second one with national poetry:
+ 52 55 9225 2840 (Mexican edition)
+ 52 55 9225 2673 (Original English edition)
Dial-A-Poem Mexico was recorded in Mexico City and is the first edition to be produced in languages other than English. The platform gathers the work of 30 Mexican authors from different generations with 27 texts in Spanish and 3 in Mixe, Mixteco and Maya Tzotzil respectively. The selection was organized by Claudia Quezada—coordinator at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Literarios de Aguascalientes (Ciela Fraguas)—and Alberto Ríos de la Rosa, curator at Fundación Casa Wabi. The service will continue to grow every year with new works from other authors, musicians, and artists. Selected authors include:
David Anuar González Vázquez (Cancún, Quintana Roo, 1989) is a poet, narrator, editor and literary critic. Graduated in Latin American Literature from the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY), he works as a professor of literary theory, writing, grammar, poetics, mini fiction and history and literature of Quintana Roo. He was the winner of the Juan de la Cabada Short Story Contest in 2011. David Anuar has worked in the translation of Caribbean poetry and insists that Quintana Roo must be inserted into the vast and heterogeneous literature that defines the Caribbean through dialogues, exchanges, and publications.
Victoria Equihua (Michoacán, 1996) is a poet, feminist, and member of the Calandria collective with whom she coordinates the Slam league of poetry for morras (girls) in the city of Morelia. Winner of the National Slam MX competition in 2019, and semifinalist in the slam national et la coupe du monde in Paris in 2020. She is also seamstress, saleswoman and teacher, and believes in rebellion and self-management. Having graduated with a theatre degree from the Popularr Faculty of Fine Arts, she has received several awards nationwide for her poetic work. She has also participated in festivals and young poets meetings as well as coordinating community and self-management workshops on theater and poetry.
Susi Bentzulul (Chiapas, 1995) Originally from San Juan Chamula, Bentzulul received a Bachelor's Degree in Language and Culture. She has participated in various workshops and congresses on youth leadership. Her writings have been published in various electronic media and collective books, such as Snichimal Vayuchil and Uni Tsebetik. She is a former fellow at the Embassy of the United States of America, and attended a Seminar on History and Government of the United States at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She is currently a street educator in Melel Xojobal, working with indigenous children and youth in the promotion, defense, and exercise of their rights.
Eduardo Vázquez Martín (Mexico City, 1962) is the Executive Coordinator of the Mandate of the College of San Ildefonso since January 2019. He studied Social Anthropology at the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH). With a long career as a cultural promoter, poet, editor, and journalist, he has also served as deputy director of the Poetry Newspaper of the UNAM. Founder of the Institute of Culture of Mexico City, he served as director of Cultural Development. He designed and coordinated the La calle es de todos and La fábrica de Artes y Oficios del Faro de Oriente programs. He has been a contributor to several magazines and cultural supplements.
Orlando Mondragón (Guerrero, 1993) is a surgeon by profession and a poet. He has been the winner of the IV Alejandro Aura Young Poetry Prize with “Epicedio al padre” (2017). The ravages of time on the human body, the sad and painful ways in which mortality reaches people and the aura of mysterious beauty that surrounds them are Mondragón's themes in Cuadernos de Patología Humana, which was distinguished with the 34th Loewe International Poetry Prize 2021. He is the youngest winner of that contest.
The complete author list is as follows: Javier Acosta (Zacatecas, 1967), Susi Bentzulul (Chiapas, 1995), Adán Brand (Aguascalientes, 1984), César Cañedo (Sinaloa, 1988), Bertha María Choza (Sinaloa, 1994), Elsa Cross (Ciudad de México, 1946), Luis Vicente de Aguinaga (Jalisco, 1971), Diana del Ángel (Ciudad de México, 1982), Elisa Díaz Castelo (Ciudad de México, 1986), Claudina Domingo (Ciudad de México, 1982), Diana Domínguez (Oaxaca, 1994), Victoria Equihua (Michoacán, 1993), Fernando Fernández (Ciudad de México, 1964), David Anuar Vázquez (Quintana Roo, 1989), Jeanne Karen Hernández (San Luis Potosí, 1976), Lorena Huitrón (Veracruz, 1982), Orlando Mondragón (Guerrero, 1993), Alec Montero (Guanajuato, 1997), Jorge Ortega (Baja California, 1972), Patricia Ortiz (Aguascalientes, 1972), María Rivera (Ciudad de México, 1971), Martha Rodríguez Mega (Ciudad de México, 1991), Celerina Sánchez (Oaxaca, 1967), Claudia Santa Ana (Ciudad de México, 1974), Renato Tinajero (Tamaulipas, 1976), Ángela Vázquez González (Ciudad de México, 2000), Eduardo Vázquez Martín (Ciudad de México, 1962), Frydha Victoria (Nayarit, 1993), Daniel Wence (Michoacán, 1984), and Ricado Yáñez (Jalisco, 1948).
Fundación Casa Wabi is a non-profit organization that encourages a dialog between contemporary art and the local communities based on three locations: Puerto Escondido, Mexico City and Tokyo. Opened in 2014 by Bosco Sodi, its name comes from the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, which believes on finding beauty and harmony in simplicity, the imperfect and unconventional. Its mission is focused on building a social development through art, which in itself is carried on through five core programs: residencies, exhibitions, clay, cinema and mobile library.
The John Giorno Foundation has been established in honor of the life and work of the artist John Giorno (1936-2019), as a posthumous transformation of Giorno Poetry Systems, Inc. founded and incorporated by Giorno in 1974 as a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization. Sharing the mission of its earlier incarnation, The Foundation exists to help poets, artists, musicians and the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism for the benefit, in Giorno’s words, “of all sentient beings.” The Foundation will also preserve and promote the work of John Giorno, including his literature, visual and recording arts, as well as the artist’s archives.
Dial-A-Poem Mexico was carried out thanks to the generous support of Aire Libre FM and Moran Moran Gallery.