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Department of arts & culture news Releases

Mar
26
2014

San Antonio Appoints Second Poet Laureate to Kick Off National Poetry Month

Posted 5 years 335 days ago ago by John Quiroz (GPA)


SAN ANTONIO, TX (March 26, 2014) – April is National Poetry Month and the City of San Antonio will soon appoint Laurie Ann Guerrero as the second poet laureate to represent the city. Guerrero succeeds inaugural poet laureate Carmen Tafolla whose two-year term ends March 31. The 2014 Poet Laureate Investiture will take place at City Council Chamber, 114 W. Commerce, on Tuesday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“Following in the footsteps of Carmen Tafolla will not be easy, but Laurie Ann Guerrero is an inspiring choice who will amplify the importance of literary arts in San Antonio. Her personal story and professional success will resonate with many San Antonians,” expressed Mayor Julián Castro.

Nominations for the 2014-16 poet laureate began in November 2013 and a selection panel comprised of writers from around the country selected Laurie Ann Guerrero from a pool of seven of nominees. Guerrero was nominated twice; one nomination was by Linda Harris, a writer and Guerrero’s composition instructor at Palo Alto College who encouraged her to apply to Smith College.

Laurie Ann Guerrero, a 1996 graduate of McCollum High School, was born and raised in the Southside of San Antonio. Several years later, and after becoming a wife and mother of three, Guerrero was accepted as a “nontraditional student” to Smith College where she graduated with a degree in English language & literature. She went on to complete an M.F.A. in poetry from Drew University in 2011.

Guerrero’s chapbook, “Babies under the Skin,” won the Panhandler Publishing Award, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. In 2012, she won the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize for her first full-length collection, “A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying,” which was then published by the University of Notre Dame in 2013.

“Guerrero writes in a language of the body, visceral, almost unbearably vivid, the language of a poet who knows how to work with her hands,” stated Martín Espada, author of “The Trouble Ball.”

Guerrero states, “I have written in an unfiltered way since I was little.” In response to being selected as the next poet laureate, she says, “It’s a huge honor and I look forward to how I’m going to grow and be a vessel for the community. I feel ready, supported, and excited about what lies ahead.”

San Antonio’s new poet laureate will be participating in a number of local national poetry month events. The Department for Culture & Creative Development, in partnership with local poets and community organizations, has produced a calendar to capture all the poetry events taking place in San Antonio during National Poetry Month. Printed calendars are available at the main and branch libraries or go to npmsa.com for the online version.

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A Model City for all America: San Antonio
San Antonio is a model city for the new face of America—a diverse, progressive and globally competitive city with a solid vision for national and international economic development. In 2012, San Antonio was named an All-America City by the National Civic League. The City of San Antonio maintains a strong financial position with a “AAA” general obligation bond rating from all three major rating agencies. The Milken Institute has ranked San Antonio No. 1 on its Best-Performing Cities list.  As the seventh-largest city in the United States, San Antonio is experiencing solid economic growth in 21st century industries such as bioscience and healthcare. Biotech companies and healthcare systems in San Antonio contribute billions to the local economy. The Aerospace industry remains a dominant economic strength in San Antonio with the presence of several aviation and aerospace corporations, including the military. The military has had a significant relationship with San Antonio for more than 200 years and is home to several military commands. The city is also a cybersecurity hub; nationally recognized as a leader in the field of information security. San Antonio is positioning itself to be at the forefront of the New Energy Economy in the United States, committed to investing and creating employment opportunities in green industries.

Contact: 
Heather Eichling
210.207.6960/ 210.204.0125 cell
heather.eichling@sanantonio.gov


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