Click here to watch excerpts from the 2016 Mega Corazon!
In March 2014, San Antonio’s Inaugural Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla staged a production entitled “San Antonio, Mi Pueblo” at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the culminating event in her poet laureate signature series. As part of this production, she commissioned local composer and percussionist George Cisneros of URBAN-15 to write a soundtrack that would allow her to weave her original works alongside those of the collaborating poets.
The 13 poets who participated in that 2014 production became the backbone of URBAN-15’s Mega Corazon, an annual poetry marathon featuring San Antonio’s best premiere poets. Mega Corazon is filmed and live-streamed online to a global audience, using URBAN-15’s studio and three-camera Tricaster system.
The 13 performers who participated became the backbone of URBAN-15’s Mega Corazon, a now-annual performance featuring the best in South Texas-based spoken word. Curated by Tafolla, Mega Corazon celebrates a hybrid poetic tradition that combines street, classical, and slam performance styles for a production that is frontal, improvisational, at times painful, and choreographed for a highly visual impact.
Part of National Poetry Month activities, 2016’s Mega Corazon takes place each April. Performances are filmed live in the URBAN-15 studio and, for those based locally, can be viewed in person like any other live event. For those unable to attend or outside San Antonio, URBAN-15 also streams Mega Corazon live, online, and in real time via our internet broadcasting system. This livestream is accessible across multiple platforms—from computers to tablets to gaming systems to smart phones—and free of charge via our website at https://urban15.org/live-stream/ . In this way, a poet in the hand is worth more than two in the book!
Past participating poets have included Tafolla, former San Antonio Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero, current Poet Laureate Jenny Browne, award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye, father/daughter poetry slam champions Anthony “The Poet” Flores and Amanda Flores, playwright Gregg Barrios, Jazz Poets founder Eduardo Garza, spoken word artist Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, conjunto master Juan Tejeda, Wings Press editor and musician Bryce Milligan, Gemini Ink director Sheila Black, and many other talented San Antonio poets. For a full lineup of performers from the 2016 Mega Corazon, please click here.
In 2016, URBAN-15 was fortunate to have funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation that allowed us to outreach specifically to area high schools and middle schools, and the first three hours of the performance were youth-focused. Educators interested in accessing Mega Corazon in future years for their students–or any other interested group—should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-736-1500.
“Poetry–that is, the documentation of our experiences–-in San Antonio has already proven to empower generations and help raise the voices of those who might otherwise feel voiceless. As long as we keep coming together in this way, we have the opportunity to do some amazing things for our beloved city.”
–Laurie Ann Guerrero, 2014-16 San Antonio Poet Laureate
“Mega Corazon celebrates an essential fact about poetry. Poetry is about heart, as well as truth-telling, community, words released into beautiful motion, the color, courage and timbre of all our diverse voices. Hear San Antonio, tune in, drop in and out—rejoice, repeat, talk back, listen! It’s all at URBAN-15; San Antonio in rainbow life coming to you over the internet.”
–Shiela Black, Writer, Poet and Artistic Director of Gemini Ink