Presenting the 2016 Mega Corazon

A poet in the hand is worth more than two in the book…

With the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation of the San Antonio Area Foundation, URBAN-15 is excited to present the 3rd annual MEGA CORAZON, an nine-hour literary livestream. Celebrating a hybrid poetic tradition that combines street, classical, and slam performance styles, Mega Corazon features the best in South Texas-based performance poetry.

Part of National Poetry Month activities, this year’s Mega Corazon will take place on Thursday, April 28th from 1pm-10pm. Performances are filmed live in our studio and, for those based locally, can be viewed in person like any other performance event. But if you can’t make it in person, we also stream LIVE, ONLINE, and IN REAL TIME via our internet broadcasting system, and across multiple platforms–from computers to tablets to gaming systems to smart phones. This livestream is accessible free of charge and without a password on our website!

Click Here to Watch the Live-Stream

This year, we are fortunate to have funding that allows us to outreach specifically to area high schools and middle schools, and the first three hours of the performance (1-4pm) are youth-focused. If you are an educator and are interested in accessing Mega Corazon for your students–or any other group you work with–please contact us at events@urban15.org or call us at 210-736-1500.

An in-progress lineup for this year’s Mega Corazon is below. Keep checking back for a final list!

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Carmen Tafolla is a poet, writer, and performance artist from San Antonio, Texas. The author of more than 20 books, including The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans and What Can you Do with a Paleta?(for children, youth, and adults), Dr. Tafolla was named in 2012 by Mayor Julian Castro as the first Poet Laureate of San Antonio and later became the 2015 Texas Poet Laureate. Her poetry book Rebozos won three International Latino Book Awards, and her newest book, This River Here: Poems of San Antonio, was released in Spring of 2014. She has performed her one-woman show throughout the US, and in England, France, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Norway, and New Zealand.

Natalia

Born in Mexico City and raised in San Antonio, Natalia Trevino is an Associate Professor of English at Northwest Vista College and a member of the Macondo Foundation.  She completed her Master’s degree in English at UT Austin and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska. Her poems have won numerous awards and appeared in Bordersenses, Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review, The Houston Literary Review, Sugar House Review, Voices de la Luna, and Inheritance of Light. Her fiction has appeared in Curbstone Press’s Mirrors Beneath the Earth, and her nonfiction in Shifting Balance Sheets: Women’s Stories of Naturalized Citizens and Complex Allegiances: Constellations of Immigration.  Having experienced a bi-national childhood, she hopes to raise understanding between people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and is currently finishing a novel, La Cruzada, a testimony of an immigrant mother’s journey.

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Bryce Milligan is a prolific, award-winning author in numerous genres ranging from children’s books to novels for young adults to adult poetry and criticism. Of his seven collections of poetry, the latest is Take to the Highway: Arabesques for Travelers (West End Press, 2016). The founding editor of Pax: A Journal for Peace through Culture and Vortex: A Critical Review, a book columnist for both local newspapers and director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s literature program and its Inter-American Book Fair, Milligan has been the publisher, editor and book designer of Wings Press since 1995.  In 2011 Milligan received the Gemini Ink “Award for Literary Excellence” and in 2012 the St. Mary’s University President’s Peace Commission’s “Art of Peace Award.”

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Though born and raised in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Eduardo Vega has called San Antonio his home for many of the last twenty years. A career educator, he’s taught locally, as well as in the Napa Valley, Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and the Uxpanapa Valley in Oaxaca.  As a spoken word artist, he has been a featured performer at
MegaCorazon
and Viva Poesia at the Mission Marquee Plaza. He was a member of the Blah Poetry Spot Slam team that competed at the Southern Fried Poetry Slam last summer and was a finalist for La Voz de San Antonio.  Most recently, he had one of his poems selected for Love Poems to San Antonio and visibly displayed the Plaza de Armas building in downtown San Antonio.  He is a member of the Taco Council of Texas.

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Andrea ‘Vocab’ Sanderson has been featured at DePauw, Cameron, Trinity, and Rice University. She serves as Writer In the Community for Gemini Ink, and co-hosts 2nd Verse, Jazz & Poetry with a Purpose, and the Fresh Ink Youth Slam. A singer and hip hop artist, she has an album called  ‘Sessions In Flight’ (available on iTunes).  She has been commissioned to write poetry honoring Henri Mattise for ‘Jazz,’ curated by the San Antonio Museum of Art, and has traveled internationally to Abu Dhabi to perform at Al Dhafra Airbase.

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Juan Tejeda is a tenured Instructor of Music and Mexican American Studies at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas. He and his wife, Anisa Onofre, are the Co-Publishers/Editors of Aztlan Libre Press, and he is the button accordionist and vocalist for the musical ensemble Conjunto Aztlan.

Amanda Flores is a Trinity University graduate and the youngest poet to represent San Antonio at the National Poetry Slam competition. She has represented our lovely city for seven consecutive years, performing all over the nation, from Florida to Minnesota to New York, North Carolina, and Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. She holds the titles of the 2011 & 2012 Grand Slam Poetry Camanda floreshampion of San Antonio, and has most recently had the honor of being crowned 2013’s “La Voz” of San Antonio in SA’s first city-wide spoken word poetry contest. Performing and administering poetry workshops to schools, theaters, and community centers throughout South Texas, Amanda’s performance highlights include the annual Americans for the Arts Convention, SAAABE conference for international educators, and People en Español’s 2012 annual convention. Her performances have been featured on the KABB FOX and WOAI Morning Shows, KENS 5 Great Day Sunday show, and KSAT 12’s Instant Replay sports segment during the 2013 NBA PlayOffs.

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Jenny Browne is the current San Antonio Poet Laureate and author of three collections of poems: At Once, The Second Reason, and Dear Stranger.  Recent work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, The New York Times Threepenny Review, and Tin House.  She is a former James Michener Fellow in Poetry at the University of Texas, the recipient of two Texas Writers League Fellowships, a grant from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, and a 2012-13 NEA Literature Fellowship.  She has worked as poet-in-residence across the state for the Texas Commission on the Arts, and across the world for the University of Iowa’s International Writers Program.  The rest of the time she lives in downtown San Antonio and teaches at Trinity University.

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Anthony “The Poet” Flores is a 3-time San Antonio Grand Slam Poetry Champion & has represented our city in competition on six different occasions at the National Poetry Slam. He has performed his work all over the United States, from local schools & community centers to H.B.O.’s Def Poetry Jam to the famous Lincoln Center in New York City. He is a co-founder of Fresh Ink Under-21 Youth Poetry Slam, the only on-going poetry slam & open-Mic for teenagers in San Antonio, & he is also a judge for S.A.’s La Voz City-Wide Spoken Word Competition.

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Eduardo C. Garza has presented Jazz poetry, also known as spoken word, beginning in 1977 in Austin, Corpus Christi, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and San Antonio, Texas. Although it has had other names, such as Teatro Poecia, Jazz Poet Society, The Jazz Poets of San Antonio continue to provide a stage for poets/musicians/artists to express themselves through poetry and music.

Jesse Cardona

Jesse Cardona, a veteran of the Texas public school system, has won many awards for teaching creative writing, including the Imagineer Award and the Trinity Prize for Teaching Excellence. In addition to publishing poetry in various journals and anthologies, Cardona is the author of Pan Dulce (Chili Verde Press, 1998), a book of poems. He has also been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities visiting scholar grants to Harvard University, Boston University, and the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Frances Treviño Santos‘s publications include Cayetana: Poems (2007, Wings PrefrancesTrevinoss), A Certain Attitude: Poems By Seven Texas Women, The Laughter of Doves (2001, Wings Press) and a chapbook, Mama & Other Tragedies (both Pecan Grove Press). She was a 1999 Fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities for integrating U.S. Latino Literature into the secondary classroom. In 2000 she received the Premio Poesia Tejana, and in 2001 was awarded a grant from the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. From 1999-2002, she was a member of “Women of Ill-Repute: Refute!,” a performance group that deconstructed issues of culture and identity.

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Naomi Shihab Nye has written or edited around 35 books of poetry and prose. Her most recent collection of poems is Transfer and her short short fiction stories are There is No Long Distance Now. She has been working as a vagabond itinerant writer in schools and communities (including Doha, Qatar, and Mumbai, India in 2014) for a very long time and still likes it.

Mariana Aitches is a native of San Antonio.  She is the author of two collections of poetry:  Fishing for Light (winner of the 2010 Wings Press Joanie Whitebird Chapbook Award) and Ours is a Flower (Pecan Grove Press, 2012).  SAitchesAuthorPhotohe is completing a third poetry manuscript and working on the second half of her memoir of growing up in Victoria Courts.  A retired history and cultural studies professor, she is now a writer, artist and dancer.

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Victoria Garcia-Zapata Klein won first place in the regionally televised (PBS) 1995 poetry slam sponsored by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Peace in the Corazón (Wings Press, 1999) for which she won the Premio Poesia Tejana; Another Water Bug Is Murdered While It Rains In Texas (Wings, 2009); and Te Prometo (Paloma Press 2015). Her work has appeared in the anthologies This Promiscuous Light: Young Women Poets of San Antonio (Wings 1996); ¡Floricanto Si! -A Collection of Latina Poetry (Penguin, 1998) and Cantos al Sexto Sol (Wings 2002). She has been featured in The San Antonio Express News, The Current, Backbeat Magazine, The Texas Observer and NPR. Victoria has studied creative writing in master classes with Pat Mora. Gary Soto, Joy Harjo, Sandra Cisneros, Alurista and Martin Espada. She has taught poetry to inner city youth through the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Gemini Ink and Jump Start Performance Co. She has also served as Vice President of the Board for San Anto Cultural Arts. Victoria is also a member of the poetry performance group The Women of Ill Repute – Refute, founded by Amalia O
rtiz, and hosts a bi-monthly open mic at Barrio Barista in San Antonio’s West Side, in the neighborhood where she grew up. Te Prometo can be ordered from Paloma Pr
ess on their Facebook page here, and any of her other work can be found oMadison Hegginsn Amazon.com.

Madison Heggins is an 18-year-old poet who was the recent Poetry Out Loud Texas State Champion. With her love of writing, Madison is considering double majoring in Business Marketing and Journalism to ultimately build a career in public relations in fashion. She enjoys reading, writing, and photography in her free time and is most inspired by Maya Angelou. As a poet, Madison focuses on social commentary with emphasis on oppression by race, gender, and sexuality.

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