“clearing my mind/unburdening me of the rest/drawing me to the tactile, the feel of beach sand”
–Raymond A Foss
All events to be held at Rockport Beach, 210 Seabreeze Dr.
2020 Texas Poet Laureate
Emmy Pérez, Texas Poet Laureate 2020, has lived in the Texas borderlands for the past 19+ years, the first six reconnecting with her family history in Ysleta/El Paso and then moving several hundred miles east to the Rio Grande Valley, where she has lived in McAllen for the past 13+ years. Originally from Santa Ana, California, she is a graduate of Columbia University (MFA) and the University of Southern California (BA).
Rebecah Hall was born in Pecos, Texas. She has 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren. She pursued a Communications degree at Black Hills University in Spearfish, S.D. After that she lived in the U.K. for 10 years and pursued a Masters and PhD in Creative Writing–poetry. She currently resides in Rockport, Texas (a Hurricane Harvey survivor) with her tuxedo cat, Jazz.
She’s been writing poetry since the age of 9, and went through the typical teenage angst period. Her poetry began to mature at the age of 17. Presently, she addresses controversial topics more than the everyday. Her hobbies include photograpy and music and generally acting goofy.
Robin Carstensen is co-founding senior editor of the Switchgrass Review: a Journal of Health and Transformation. Her poetry chapbook In the Temple of Shining Mercy received the annual first-place award by Iron Horse Literary Press in 2016. She has earned annual first-place awards with So to Speak: a Literary Journal of Language, Feminism, and Art and Many Mountains Moving: a Journal of Diverse and Contemporary Poetry. Poems are also published in BorderSenses, Southern Humanities Review, Voices de La Luna, Demeter Press’s anthology, Borderlands and Crossroads: Writing the Motherland, Fiolet and Wing: An Anthology of Domestic Fabulist Poetry, and many more. She directs the creative writing program at Texas A&M University-CC, where she also serves as senior editor for The Windward Review, a Literary Journal of the South Texas Coastal Bend.
Professional performance artist and publisher Janet Kuypers is a writer & photographer, editing 2 literary magazines while running Scars Publications (http://scars.tv). She has 100+ books published, sung in 3 bands, and her 40+ CD releases are at iTunes & Amazon. Kuypers has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times, won the award for a Poetry Ambassador and was Poet of the Year. She has performed spoken word and music across the country, including the Albuquerque Spoken Word Festival show during the National Poetry Slam, a music show in Alaska & a climactic feature at the 2006 Society of Professional Journalism Expo’s Chicago Poetry Showcase. She ran a Chicago poetry open mike with weekly podcasts & now hosts an Austin monthly open mic.
Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson
Andrea Sanderson performs as “Vocab” in her hometown of San Antonio. She was just announced as the 2020-2022 San Antonio Poet Laureate. Her poetry is published in the Texas Observer, the Pariah anthology, and the anthology Sycorax’s Daughters. She released a long-anticipated new album, She Tastes Like Music, at Luminaria Festival 2019. She received the following awards: Performer of the Year and Influencer of the Year from Project Forward, and Dream Voice 2018 from the Dream Week Commission. Most recently, she received the People’s Choice Award 2019 from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, which funded her latest album and debut book She Tastes Like Music.
Edward Vidaurre was the 2018-2019 McAllen,Texas Poet Laureate and is the author of six collections of poetry: JAZzHOUSE (Prickly Pear Publishing 2019) is his latest with WHEN A CITY ENDS, forthcoming from King Shot Press. He writes from the front lines of the Mexican-American borderlands of El Valle in south Tejas and Publisher/Editor of FlowerSong Books.
Sarah K. Lenz founded Writers’ Studio in July 2019. Her nonfiction has appeared in Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, The Fourth River, Entropy, and elsewhere. Three of her essays have been named Notable in Best American Essays, and she received the New Letters Readers’ award in nonfiction. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Georgia College, an MA in literature from Boise State University, and a BFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She’s the prose editor of The Switchgrass Review. She teaches composition and literature at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Karen Tardiff has been writing since she could hold a pen. She writes poetry, flash fiction, personal essays, short stories, and grant requests. Karen also edits for a small group of friends. She has been published in a variety of online and print outlets. She was born in Texas, lived a little bit of everywhere, and now resides on the Texas Gulf Coast. When she can’t find poetry somewhere, she puts it there.