2018 Performers

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 Texas Commission on the Arts, URBAN-15 is excited to present the 5th annual MEGA CORAZON, an eight-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 Monday, April 2nd from 1-9pm CST. 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 la mera mera Mega Corazon de Tejas to your computer, tablets, gaming systems or smart phone! This livestream is accessible free of charge and without a password on our website at urban15.org/live-stream.

Watch performance excerpts from the 2016 Mega Corazon

The first three hours of the performance (1-4pm) are youth-focused and ideal for middle and high school grades. If you are an educator or youth-serving community center and are interested in broadcasting Mega Corazon to your students–or any other group you work with–please contact us at events@urban15.org or call us at 210-736-1500. For those schools and organizations which plan to screen the livestream, we also have funding this year to send Mega Corazon poets into the community to conduct workshops! Let us know if you’re interested!

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

Jesse CardonaJesse Cardonaa veteran teacher of Texas schools and currently an English teacher at Incarnate Word H. S., has received several awards as a creative writing teacher, including the Imagineer Award, the Trinity University Prize for Teaching Excellence and the Ford Salute in the Arts Award. His poetry book Pan Dulce was published in 1998 by Chili Verde Press, and his poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies, recently Literary San Antonio edited by Bryce Milligan and published by Texas Christian University Press 2018. He twice won a Gemini Ink “Voz de San Antonio Spoken Word Champion Award,” and in 216 his “Bato Con Khakis” poem was selected for performance at the New York City Symphony Space.

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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.


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.


Jim L-HJim LaVilla-Havelin is an educator, arts administrator, community arts advocate, consultant, critic and poet. His fifth book of poems, WEST, POEMS OF A PLACE was just published by Wings Press. LaVilla-Havelin is the Poetry Editor for the San Antonio Express-News and the Coordinator for National Poetry Month in San Antonio.

LaVilla-Havelin retired in 2013 after seventeen years as the Director of the Young Artist Programs at the Southwest School of Art, to write, teach, and consult. He teaches Creative Writing in the Go Arts Program of Bihl Haus Art, in the Writers in Communities program at Gemini Ink, where he teaches at the Cyndi Taylor Krier Juvenile Correctional Treatment Center, and in the BFA program at the Southwest School of Art, where he teaches The Image of the Artist in Literature and Cinema.

He has offered workshops, classes, and public programs for the McNay, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Independent School District, Georgetown Poetry Festival, Gemini Ink, and many other sites . He lives in Lytle, Texas, (the “place”,of  “poems of a place” with his wife, artist, Lucia LaVilla-Havelin.

Bryce Milligan

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. Milligan has been the publisher, editor and book designer of Wings Press since 1995. His own work has received the Texas Library Association’s “Lone Star Book Award” for  YA literature, and “best of the year” citations for children’s books from Publishers Weekly. His most recent book of poetry, Take to the Highway: Arabesques for Travelers, won the Notable Writers Book Award and the Writers League of Texas poetry prize. Milligan has received the Gemini Ink “Award for Literary Excellence” and  the St. Mary’s University President’s Peace Commission’s “Art of Peace Award.” He is the editor of Literary San Antonio (TCU Press, 2018).

5Octavio Quintanilla is the current San Antonio Poet Laureate and author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014). His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as SalamanderRHINOAlaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American LiteratureThe Texas ObserverExistere: A Journal of Art & Literature, and elsewhere. Reviews of his work can be found at CutBank Literary Journal, Concho River Review, San Antonio Express-News, American Microreviews & Interviews, Southwestern American Literature, Pleiades, and others.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review.  He teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.

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Andrea Sanderson (poet, singer, hip hop artist), known on stage as ‘Vocab,’ has been a spoken word artist since 2001.  She serves as a creative Writer In the Community for Gemini Ink and co-hosts 2nd Verse, Jazz & Poetry with a Purpose, and various events around the state of Texas. Her poetry is published in The Texas Observer (January 2016), Pariah Anthology (SFA Press, March 2016), and Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Groove Publishing, January 2017), which is nominated for a Bram Stoker’s Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. She released a long anticipated single, “Waiting For Me,” in December of 2017. In January of 2018, she received two awards, Influencer of the Year 2017 and Dream Voice, and appeared on the cover of The San Antonio Current.

San Antonio native John Phillip Santos is a filmmaker, producer, author, and journalist.  His articles on Latino culture have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, and the San Antonio Express-News. He is writer and producer of more than forty television documentaries for CBS-TV and PBS-TV, two of which received Emmy nominations. He has authored three books, including Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation: A Memoir, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His latest memoir is The Farthest Home is in an Empire of Fire, (2010). His poetry collection Songs Older Than Any Known Singer   (2007, Wings Press) is rich in regional references, universal in its insights into the human soul, imagistic and narrative by turns. These poems inhabit “a world / assembled from these tuileries / of words, a pageant of declensions / drawing us out to the open fields.”

After receiving his B.A. degree in Philosophy and Literature at Notre Dame, Santos became the first Mexican American Rhodes Scholar and thus earned his M.A. in English Literature and Language from St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. In 1997, he joined the Ford Foundation as an officer in the Media, Arts, and Culture Program. After living in New York City for twenty years, he returned to his hometown in 2005.  He is presently a University Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Cultural Studies in the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Honor College and was the recipient of the 2017 Texas Medal of Arts for Literary Arts.


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.

Jessica and Nathan

Jessica Tilton-Zertuche and Nathan Zertuche are both San Antonio-based slam poets who have represented the city at the 2015 and 2016 National Poetry Slam. Jessica is a member of the original Fresh Ink Youth Slam Club, a 2016 Viva Poesia Finalist, and a La Voz Poetry Slam finalist for 2015. Nathan is co-founder of the original Fresh Ink Youth Slam Club and La Voz Poetry Slam winner for 2015. Performing together, they are Co-Slam Champs of the 2016 San Antonio Puro Slam Finals.


Born in Mexico and raised in San Antonio, Natalia Treviño is the author of Lavando La Dirty Laundry (Mongrel Empire Press 2014) and the forthcoming chapbook, Virgin X (Finishing Line Press 2018). She is a Professor of English at Northwest Vista College and a Board member of the Macondo Writers Workshop.  She completed her Master’s degree in English at UT San Antonio and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska. Her poems have won numerous awards, including the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and the San Antonio Arts Foundation Literary Award. Her poetry appears in several journals including The Taos Journal of Art and Poetry, Bordersenses, Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, Sliver of Stone, and Voices de la Luna. Her work also appears in the poetry anthology, Inheritance of Light and Curbstone Press’s short fiction anthology, Mirrors Beneath the Earth; her nonfiction essays appear in Shifting Balance Sheets: Women’s Stories of Naturalized Citizens and Complex Allegiances: Constellations of Immigration and in the forthcoming Latinx Poetics anthology from UNM press.  Having experienced a bi-national childhood, she hopes to raise understanding between people on both sides of the Rio Grande.

Frances TrevinoFrances Treviño Santos‘s publications include Cayetana: Poems (2007, Wings Press), 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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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
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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