Coming April 2: LLILAS Presents an Evening of Latin@ Poetry and Spoken Word

llilaseventStop by the Benson Latin American Collection for an evening of poetry readings and spoken-word performances on Thursday, April 2, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The 13th annual ¡A Viva Voz! Migraciones event, hosted by LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, will feature live readings and performances of original work by Central Texas–based poets and spoken word artists.

The following artists will share diverse perspectives around themes of migration and identify:

  • Ariana Brown, Afro-Mexicana poet, performer, and author
  • Marcos Cervantes (aka Mex Step of Third Root hip hop collective), educator and scholar
  • Las Krudas, Cuban hip hop artists
  • Teresa Palomo Acosta, poet, educator and historian
  • Moderator: Celeste Guzmán Mendoza, poet

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided. RSVP and find updates on Facebook at

Warning: Dangerous Poet Ahead

FS Zapruder on street

Matthew Zapruder

Poet Matthew Zapruder visits campus this month as part of the Michener Center for Writers literary reading series. He will read at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Avaya Auditorium, ACE 2.302, at an event which is free and open to students and the general public.

Zapruder’s books of poetry include “Come On All You Ghosts” and “The Pajamaist,” both from Copper Canyon, and “American Linden,” from Tupelo Press. The New York Times has praised his “razor eye for the remnants and revenants of modern culture,” and among his many honors are fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim Foundations, the 2007 William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America, and the 2008 May Sarton Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Co-founder and editor of Seattle’s Wave Books, an independent publisher of innovative poetry in fine press and hand-made editions, Zapruder lives in San Francisco, where he is also a guitarist in the rock band The Figments.

Dean Young, W.S. Livingston Chair in Poetry at the Michener Center, calls Zapruder “a dangerous poet.”  “His poems,”  Young says, “escape velocity while also proving the calamity of gravity.”

Reviewer Nick Sturm says of his work, “Matthew Zapruder gently places what is ordinary about our lives into [his] poems and transforms them into cliffs off which we walk and, together, float away.”


c. Matthew Zapruder, from “Come On All You Ghosts”

In Wichita Kansas my friends ordered square burgers
with mysterious holes leaking a delicious substance
that would fuel us in all sorts of necessary beautiful ways
for our long journey eastward versus the night.
I was outside touching my hand to the rough
surface of the original White Castle. I was thinking
major feelings such as longing for purpose
plunge down one like the knowledge one
has been drinking water for one’s whole life
and never actually seen a well, and minor ones
we never name are always across the surface
of every face every three seconds or so rippling
and producing in turn other feelings. Oh regarder,
if I call this one green bee mating with a dragonfly
in pain it will already be too late for both of us.
I am here with that one gone, and now inside this one
I am right now naming feeling of having named
something already gone, and you just about to know
I saw gentle insects crawling in a line from a crack
in the corner of the base of the original White Castle
towards only they know what point in the darkness.

The ACE building is on the southeast corner of 24th and Speedway, and parking is available in the nearby UT garage at San Jacinto and 24th Street.

Poet W.S. Merwin to read on campus

Legendary poet W.S. Merwin will read as part of the Michener Center for Writers’ literary series at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at the Avaya Auditorium, ACES 2.302, on the corner of 24th and Speedway on campus.

In a career spanning five decades, William S. Merwin has published more than fifty books of poetry, translations and prose. Beginning with the Yale Younger Poets award in 1952 for his first collection “A Mask for Janus,” his work has received the highest accolades the literary world can bestow:  The Pulitzer Prize (in 1970 for “The Carrier of Ladders”), the Tanning Prize, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Award, and the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, among others.  His recent collected poems “Migration” has received the 2005 National Book Award.

Seating at the auditorium is limited to 200 and parking is available at the San Jacinto garage, two blocks east of the auditorium.