Spring is blooming and April is National Poetry Month (NPM). Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, NPM features schools, booksellers, venues, publishers, libraries and more to celebrate poetry this month. Thousands of poets and critics from all over the country come together to bring new material to the table every day. Different venues and schools will host countless readings, workshops, festivals and literary events all in the name of poetry. Anyone with the will to write can participate in any event.
From now until May 18, San Antonio will be home to many literary events. It Could Be Verse, which was held on April 4, was an event housed by UTSA for anybody that wanted to read any poem of their choice.
Someone who will definitely make her presence known at many NPM events is San Antonio’s second poet laureate, Laurie Ann Guerrero, who was crowned on April 1 at City Hall. Following in the footsteps of the previous poet laureate, Carmen Tafolla, Guerrero will have her hands full making appearances all over San Antonio as the city will look to her as an advocate for literacy and literature.
Guerrero was born and raised on the south side and is an alumnus of McCollum High School. She was accepted as a nontraditional student to Smith College, where she graduated with an English literature degree. After that, she earned her master’s degree in poetry from Drew University in 2011.
Guerrero’s chapbook (mini poetry book), “Babies Under the Skin,” won the Panhandler Publishing Award. In 2012, she won the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize for “A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying,” which was her first full-length poetry book, published by the University of Notre Dame in 2013.
Some of the events Guerrero will attend include the Sun Poet’s Society on April 8 at a local Barnes & Noble (321 N.W. Loop 410) starting at 7 p.m. Our Lady of the Lake University will be home to several events this week including Student Open Mic, Finding a New Beat, a reading of “The Thing Itself,” Five Shades of Heroine: Unmasking the Female Paragon, Giving the Word Flesh and many more.
If you are an inspiring artist or just love listening to poetry, there is an event for you. For more San Antonio event information, go to NPMSA.com or visit poetry.org.