Word on the street

News and notes from the San Antonio Literary scene

Calabaza, camote, piña, y identidad

Anel Flores' Empanada explores "the conflicts of culture, religion, Mexican American identity and lesbian identity," and how all those different facets come together in the life of the protagonist, a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. There is a lot of silence around being gay or lesbian and Mexican-American, Flores feels. "I'm trying to break through the silence," she says, of her recently-completed manuscript. Flores and Jessica O. Guerrero will perform selections from Empanada on Saturday, August 28, at the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, 922 San Pedro Ave. The 8 p.m. performance is the centerpiece of an evening which includes an art opening and cena (with carne guisada, arroz y frijoles, and the titular treat for dessert, starting at 7 p.m.), and following the reading, a baile and raffle. Tickets are $10 pre-sale, $15 at the door. For more information, contact the Esperanza Center at 228-0201.

Barrio Bards

When reports started coming out approximately a decade ago indicating that San Antonio had one of the lowest literacy rates in the nation, Lydia Garza was inspired to combat the problem. Observing the city's vibrant community of poets, writers, and performing artists, she began thinking of a way to connect their talents with the parts of the city that could use the most assistance. Out of this came Shakespeare in the Barrio, a grassroots program that aims to inspire San Anto's youth through the words of the Bard. "Shakespeare is the person that everybody has read, in every country," says Garza. Come celebrate the program's second year at a festival-fundraiser Saturday, August 28, from 1-5 p.m. at Gallista Gallery, 1913 S. Flores. Along with live music and dramatic readings by local dignitaries, students from the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy will present selection's from Shakespeare's oeuvre. Call Lydia Garza at 531-0295 or 212-8606 for more information.

Adiós, Lalo

Albelardo "Lalo" Delgado, 73, passed into Mictlan on July 23rd, joining fellow Tejana Gloria Anzaldua and Nuyorican scribe Pedro Pietri in the afterlife. Delgado, author of the classic movimiento poem "Stupid American," was most recently honored in La Calaca Review, a bilingual anthology of established and emerging Chicana and Chicano writers. Delgado's verses, which express an unwavering vision of social justice, fit right alongside those of subsequent generations. At this month's Macondo readings, local playwright and journalist Greg Barrios gave a moving eulogy, crediting Delgado for inspiring him to write poetry. Barrios shared a poem he wrote after reading Delgado's "Stupid American" for the first time, and acknowledged the importance of this unsung poeta. •

Compiled by Alejandro Pérez

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