Texas

The current state poet laureate of Texas is Jenny Browne, who was appointed in 2017 and is serving a one-year term. Browne is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Dear Stranger (University of Tampa Press, 2013). She received the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America, as well as several fellowships from the National Endowment of Arts and the San Antonio Artist Foundation. Browne currently teaches creative writing, environmental literature, and women and gender studies at Trinity University in San Antonio.

upcoming events

datesort ascending
Mar 17 2018
2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam

The Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWps) is a four day poetry festival celebrating women's voices, in which 96 of the best female-identified poets in slam will compete against each other in order to crown the Women of the World Poetry Slam champion. In this event, poets compete in preliminary competitions (referred to as “bouts”) over two nights. The poets with the top 14 scores from those days move on to Finals, where one poet is crowned the champion!

In addition to the competition, each day of the festival features poetry workshops, themed open mics, special nighttime events, and parties. Taking place March 15th - 17th in multiple venues in Dallas, the top poets will go on to finals at Majestic Theater to compete for the title of The 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion! Competition at WOWps is limited to poets who live their lives as women, which includes female assigned or identified individuals (including gender non-conforming or non-binary individuals) who are 18+ years of age.  All competing poets must be individual members of Poetry Slam, Inc. 

9:00pm
1925 Elm Street
75201 Dallas, Texas
Feb 25 2018
The Journey of Poetry

INSTRUCTOR: Leslie Contreras Schwartz 
TIME: Sundays, February 25th, March 4th, 18th, 25th, 3-6 PM
PRICE: Early-Bird Price $150 for Writespace members, $180 for non-members; After Tuesday, February 20th, $180 for Writespace members, $210 for non-members. 

register

Poetry uses language in a way that is not available to us in everyday life. As with a song, a poem can elevate and capture a specific experience--an image, memory, or sensation--and connect people in a powerful way. Whether you are a practiced poet or a total “newbie” who has just wondered what poetry is “about,” this workshop will provide a jump start to get you into a writing practice.Come join us in a supportive, inspiring workshop environment in which we will explore found poetry, song lyrics, spoken word, and literary poetry from a wide range of contemporary authors. We will also study a broad array of craft techniques, including how to use line breaks, stanzas, and sound to heighten meaning. Writers from marginalized communities (writers of color, writers with disabilities, writer from the queer and LGBT community) are encouraged to attend

4:00pm
2000 Edwards
Suite 212
77450 Houston, Texas
Feb 23 2018
Martín Espada

Martín Espada has published nearly twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems is Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), and A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000). His honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

learn more

7:30pm
508 Center Street
78640 Kyle, Texas

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poems

poem

Big Bend has been here, been here. Shouldn’t it have a say?
Call the mountains a wall if you must, (the river has never been a wall),
leavened air soaking equally into all, could this be the home
we ache for? Silent light bathing cliff faces, dunes altering
in

2
poem
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
poem
Jim

You looked Texas today
road hard, scrubbed brush, blown tires
gasoline islands

But later California returned—fortune’s poster child
radiating. Truck full of gas,
cheap camera in the glove compartment
stuffed toys on the dashboard,
beads on the steering wheel,
a pretty girl’s