San Antonio Celebrates National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Nearly 20 years ago, the Academy of American Poets began dedicating this month to commemorating the efforts of those who celebrate the written and spoken word in its myriad forms. This year San Antonio is once again taking part in the festivities by offering a variety of poetry-related events occurring throughout the city, including initiatives planned by San Antonio’s Inaugural Poet Laureate, Dr. Carmen Tafolla.

To help organize this month’s offerings, the City’s Department for Culture and Creative Development (DCCD)—in collaboration with local partners such as Gemini Ink, Our Lady of the Lake University, and the Library Foundation—has published its local 2013 National Poetry Month Calendar.  The print calendar briefly highlights selected upcoming readings, workshops, festivals, competitions, and the Online version features additional information about these events.

Among the many events scheduled this month include a series of regional spoken-word competitions, entitled “La Voz de San Antonio”, open to all ages and the oral declamation of either original or quoted poetry in English, Spanish, or mixtures thereof.   Celebrating the centuries-long tradition of Poetry Out Loud, these regional competitions will culminate in a city-wide finale on May 3 of winners from all age groups, from pre-school to senior citizens.

Designed to further increase public awareness about the importance of poetry and its essential place in San Antonio’s culture, the events represent “an exciting re-definition of active poetry-making and poetry-preserving in our community” according to San Antonio Poet Laureate Dr.Carmen Tafolla.  “Involving everyone, from the pre-schooler who’s just memorized their first poem to the teen Slam Poet to the Spanish-speaking great-grandparent who’s reciting the lines they learned 80 years ago, these events bring the diverse elements of our community together in a celebration of the power of the spoken word, and expand our awareness of the beauty and the relevance of poetry in our daily lives,” says the city poet laureate, who this month celebrates her one year anniversary of investiture to the two-year position.

Among the many events listed on the National Poetry Month Calendar, available online and in libraries and public spaces citywide, is the San Antonio Edition of the Texas Book Festival on Saturday, April 13, a reading of the works of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz at the Instituto Cultural de Mexico on April 29 and a May 4 “Soft Landing: Poetry in Main Plaza” event in partnership with the Main Plaza Conservancy.

For more information about ongoing events, visit our NPM online calendar