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Arts & Culture

Mega Corazon Poetry Festival Will Continue Virtually

Performances for Mega Corazon can be livestreamed.
Performances for Mega Corazon can be livestreamed.

San Antonio’s largest annual poetry event is scheduled for Monday. But what about COVID-19? Is Urban 15’s Mega Corazon still on? Yes it is.

April, as it turns out, is National Poetry Month, and George Cisneros says Urban 15 celebrates it by producing a festival of SanAntonio poetry writers, performers and readers.

That annual Mega Corazon event, as an audience-and-poet get-together is off. But the poetry will continue.

"This time the poets are all recording their performances in their homes on their phones or laptops, cameras, whatever the media they have chosen," he said.

All poets will be streamed live on Urban 15's website. The event starts off at 10 a.m. Monday.

“The morning format from 10 to 1 is geared towards the young audience,” Cisneros said. “And we think that this is a great opportunity to provide cultural resources to those parents who are at home right now."

Then starting at 6 p.m., the poets considered to be the who's who of San Antonio poetry will perform.

"Yeah, we had the best of the best is what we call them. We have the poet laureates of the city through the years,” he said. “We have Carmen Tafolla. We have Octavia Quintanilla, the new (poet laureate) Vocab Sanderson. We have archival material of the other two poet Laureates Rosemary Catacalos and Jenny Brown as well."

John Phillip Santos will be doing some of his poetry, and then there are three special archive guests from the 1960s.

"And that's Naomi (Shihab) Nye and Alice Canestaro-Garcia, and a kind of an unknown poet Henry Cisneros was writing as a young man in 1963,” he said.

Cisneros was joking a bit, as his brother — Henry Cisneros — is not known as a poet, but a politician. Still, the former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary wrote a poem after the JFK assassination, and you can hear that poem Monday evening. 

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.