Turiya Autry grew up on the west coast in Monterey Bay, eventually traveling up the coast to Portland where she lived for 20 years and raised her children. She now finds herself on a different west coast - in Florida.
Turiya's first experience with the desert was on the third anniversary of her mother's death. Turiya's mom loved going to Vegas and Turiya decided taking a trip to Sin City would be a good way to honor her mother. Wanting to further explore the desert in more raw form, Turiya booked a three-day bus tour that included visits to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. It was on subsequent trip to Las Vegas that she met her current love partner, who was a Marine at the time. Eventually, he got orders to Twentynine Palms and Turiya started doing research into what she might find in this desert.
In this episode, Turiya shares some of her favorite things about desert living as well as how she found her artistic desert community. In January of 2020, Turiya participated in 'Live from Joshua Tree', a popular spoken word fund-raiser for a local non-profit, Mil-tree.
We wrap up the discussion expanding on a quote on Turiya's website which serves as a lead-in to a conversation about how wanting for others what we want for ourselves could make the world a much better place for all of us.
Turiya is a poet, playwright, youth engagement specialist, mixed media artist and public speaker. As adjunct faculty, at two universities, she's taught 20 unique courses across various departments. She’s provided performances, workshops, classes and residencies to over fifty K-12 schools, over two dozen colleges, and hundreds of venues nationwide. More than two decades as a teaching artist has provided the opportunity for Turiya to inspire, support and showcase tens of thousands of students' creative expression and laid groundwork for the citywide high school slam competitions in Portland as well as a regional middle school slam in Oregon.
Her poetry collection, Roots, Reality & Rhyme, bridges the personal and political, the mythic and the real and set the stage for her theatrical, multi-media, one-woman show. She’s produced and hosted radio shows, worked as a reporter/photographer for a SoCal newspaper, stage managed as well as acted in various theater productions. A fierce advocate of independent publishing, she has produced several collections of her own poetry, including Poetic License in 2020. Over the years, she's also produced over 50 unique chapbooks showcasing others’ writing.