Put the Notebook Down, Get on the Mic, Get on the Floor

Hey Gente - Feliz viernes!

As I am writing this, I am a few hours away from Spring Break beginning and if any of you reading this are in education, then you know the break is well needed. Kids have been bustin' ass and taking names and have had the longest stretch of academics since January - so they and their teachers, professors, teaching assistants (TAs) deserve a small respite. Thank you for all you do and get some sleep.  

Now let's get the blog going today, shall we? 


So this is happening (what a great way to kick off Spring Break!!) - 

Ruby, Darnell and the gang have done an amazing job hosting and putting together a magnificent combination of celebration, dance and learning that is the hallmark of the TEXAS SALSA CONGRESS. (Click on the bold to go to the site). This is year is a decade in the making - Ruby has put this together enough times that a whole generation of dancers have been able to attend. It is pretty bad ass and always a real treat to see such amazing dancers under one roof for the weekend!!  

This year, Ruby invited Jasminne and I to showcase some poetry. Its been a pleasure getting to share some words with the dancing community for the last three years- better yet, since, they actually respond and react to the words we share. They have been one of the best crowds to perform form - (the Salsa dancing community, artists themselves, get the idea behind art and are so supportive) To be sure, it's a good moment poetically, since this will be only the SECOND time the wife and I have collaborated on a piece together. We work so differently that we don't often get to put a piece together. In truth, we would do it more often but only if people ask - and Ruby is the ONLY person who has, so we take the charge and create. THIS year, Ruby wanted us to create a piece to look at community, family, legacy and the 10 year anniversary, so that's what we did. Jas took the community and family aspect and I took the legacy and anniversary elements - and I think folks at the congress will be presently surprised. 

Here are the details for the Congress: 

10th Anniversary of a Texas Sized Celebration of Dance & Culture

The Texas Salsa Congress is one of the largest dance events to hit the Lone Star State! This upcoming year we celebrate our 10th Anniversary of a Texas Sized Serving of Salsa! The event draws teams from all over the world to celebrate all forms of dance including but not limited to Salsa, Bachata, Jazz, Contemporary & Hip-Hop. This dance exhibition has provided shows and performances that have left our audiences on their feet with standing ovations and ready to dance the night away! Come back often to our website to check out a tribute to our talent over the years!

This event has been one of the events that has paved the way for many other events to shine in Texas. Always amazing, always BIG-Texas Salsa Congress!

The Texas Salsa Congress kicked off last night at Rebels Honky Tonk Bar on Washington Ave. and will continue until March 16th. If you want tickets - check the link HERE
Should be lots of fun!! 



Say hello to the city’s newest addition to the poetic art scene! The Tintero Collective proudly presents something for “la communidad” – a hybrid reading series that changes every month;  a featured poet reading, an open mic night, a performance art experience, a poetry Q & A session, etc., etc.  The most important feature is that this reading is BILINGUAL; Spanish, English, Spanglish – all are welcome.  In the proud tradition of the former Nuestra Palabra Literary Showcase, the TINTERO READINGS (click on the bold) plans to fill the void and build the voice of bilingual poets in the city who need a place to read, a place to express and a place to explore writing.  The first ever reading took take place at Talento Bilingüe de Houston on Februrary 26th, from 7:30 – 10:00pm, and continues monthly, every fourth Wednesday of the month, under a new focus. The Tintero Collective (organizers of the Tintero Readings) plan to keep the readings relevant and open to the public. 


 With growth seen by such events as the Houston Poetry Fest and the Word Around Town Poetry Tour, the question from new and interested poets has come up time and time again – “Is there a space for Latino poets to share their work?” Sadly, the answer for the last 10 years has been “no”. In fact, the last venue to host anything similar to what the Tintero Collective is suggesting happened to be Talento Bilingüe de Houston, under the direction of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say. Since then, there has been relatively no space, no continuous movement to help develop the voice of up-and-coming Latino poets in English or in Spanish.  In response, I proposed the idea of creating a new style of reading -in a bilingual setting, to several other poets and artists. Deniz “dee!colonize” Lopez, Stalina Villarreal, John Pluecker, Marlon Lizama and Marc-Antony Piñon all agreed it was a worthwhile effort and all are working under the name – the Tintero Collective.

Bios of the Tintero Collective:

Marlon Lizama – World traveled BBoy (Havikoro) and poet, this 30 year old writes to social issues, love, and injustice; all while juggling fatherhood, a daytime job as Artistic Coordinator Neighborhood Centers Inc., and international BBoy competitions. Marlon strives to prove a positive message of action through dance and word. Marlon has recently returned from a BBoy competition in Europe. . . and the travels continue.  

dee!colonize - A strong voice in Houston's poetry scene, she brings an in-your-face social commentary to the mic. Over the past 6 years, this Xicana has connected with several artists & activists to bring the message of revolution & community consciousness to the stage. She has hosted at the 1st & 2nd Annual East End Festival. She has read/organized benefit shows & events dealing with the abolition of the death penalty, police brutality, empowerment of women, immigration rights, black/brown unity, and indigenous pride. dee!colonize currently maintains a blog- - where she shares poetry & commentary weekly. 

John Pluecker is a writer, interpreter, translator and co-founder of the language justice and literary experimentation collaborative Antena. His work is informed by experimental poetics, radical aesthetics and cross-border cultural production. His texts have appeared in journals in the U.S. and Mexico, including The Volta, Mandorla, Aufgabe, eleven eleven, Third Text, Animal Shelter, HTMLGiant and Literal. His work extends off the page to text-based improvisational performances in collaboration with experimental musicians and performance artists, as well as projects at the intersections of visual art and poetry. He has translated numerous books from the Spanish, including Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border (Duke University Press, 2012) and Feminism: Transmissiones and Retransmissions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). He has published three chapbooks, Routes into Texas (DIY, 2010), Undone (Dusie Kollektiv, 2011) and Killing Current (Mouthfeel Press, 2012).

 Marc-Antony Piñón is the creative director for Arts 4 Healing Inc., a graphic artist for Baylor College of Medicine and the founder of MAP Creative, a graphic design company out of Houston, Texas. He is also a pianist, rapper and visual artist.

Stalina Emmanuelle Villarreal is a Mexican and Chicana poet, a translator, and an instructor of English. The book (H)emötoma by Minerva Reynosa has been the main focus of her translations, for which she attended World to World, Mundo a Mundo in 2009 to workshop poems from the book. She is also the translator of “Grace Shot,” by Luis Alberto Arellano in Sèrie Alfa: Artiliteratura, “Eight Fabulous Animals” by Ilan Stavans in Eleven Eleven, and nine poems by Minerva Reynosa in the latest Mandorla. She has an MFA in Writing from the California College of the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Stalina lives and works here in Houston.

and then me.... 

NEXT SHOW - the next featured poet will be Jasminne Mendez (click on the bold for her site) and if we can swing it - poets from a new anthology TWENTY - IN MEMORIAM

So far it has been a blast - first show was killer and now we are making way for the next show - so get ready to join us. 

So join us if you can!!  March 26th - doors open at 7:30 - show kicks off at 7:55 and we go til 10 pm. I will be host this time around and we will have a discussion afterward. Bring a friend or two - TBH is located in 2nd Ward at 333. S. Jensen - this event is always free and open to the public. 

ok, so there you go. A bit fast on the details, but things are going. If you happen to like the blog, share it with your friends and your enemies - I'll keep typing. See you soon, and of course - the tease: