In 2015, Carmen Tafolla was appointed state poet laureate of Texas. The author of over twenty books, Tafolla was chosen in 2012 as the first poet laureate for the city of San Antonio. She has received a number of awards, notably the prestigious Americas Award, presented to her at the Library of Congress in 2010. Tafolla will be succeeded by Laurie Ann Guerrero in 2016.


upcoming events

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May 19 2016
The Watchful Eye: A WITS Student Reading

Join Writers in the Schools (WITS) and the Menil Collection for an evening of student readings, Thursday, May 19 at 7:00pm at  the Menil Collection. The Watchful Eye features the poems and prose of WITS students, grades K-12, inspired by works exhibited at the Menil Collection.

A collaboration that began in 1989, WITS and the Menil Collection combined their knowledge and resources to create a program that uses art to construct a dialogue that inspires creative writing in Houston’s youth.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

1533 Sul Ross St.
77006 Houston, Texas
May 07 2016
Meta-Four Performance at Menil Fest

Please join us Saturday, May, 7 at 4pm to to watch talented WITS youth performance poets perform spoken work poetry on the Menil Lawn. We invite you to bring a blanket and a lawn chair and spend the afternoon with us enjoying poetry, music, film, and yoga at this festival for the whole family. For more information about the festival and a timeline of events, please visit the Menil Collection website.

1533 Sul Ross St.
77006 Houston, Texas
May 07 2016
Public Poetry’s 5th Anniversary

To Celebrate Public Poetry’s 5th Anniversary, there will be a series of Reunion Readings in April, May and June by poets who have been featured in the library reading series during the past 60 months.  In addition to the featured poets for the 2016 Spring Series, a slate of Public Poetry alumni will each read a short poem.  It will be epic!

The featured poets for Saturday, May 7 are Emmy Pérez, Conor Bracken, Emily Bludworth de Barrios and Brandon Lampson.
The reunion poets for May are Cindy Huyser, Ericajo Brown, Roberto Tejada, Eleanor Boudreau, Christa Forster, Syble Estes, Loueva Smith, Kurt Heinzelman, Kenan Ince, DE Zuccone, Kay Cosgrove, Ronnie Yates and Carol Munn. 

500 McKinney Street
77002 Houston, Texas

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        after rereading Cormac McCarthy and taking
             a 5 mile run through the River Ranch

                    Laughter is also a form of prayer

Okay then, right here,
Lord, in Bandera,
I never knew them all, just hummed
and thrummed my fingers with the radio,
driving five hundred miles to Austin.
Her arms held all the songs I needed.
Our boots kept time with fiddles
and the charming sobs of blondes,

the whine of steel guitars
sliding us down in deer-hide chairs
when jukebox music was over.
see my brother-in-law with a styled shirt

in spite of his cancer below 

then a small dinner in the evening the next day

no one knows except I may be on the road

Mesquite where my father settled in '31

forty-five minutes west then a left you go in

sister Sarita waits for me on Abby Street

after decades in