Word on the Street

Word on the Street

Compiled by: Jenifer Hamilton

News and notes from the San Antonio literary scene

Fiesta 2004 is officially over, but there are still plenty of excuses to celebrate. For one, Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo has been shortlisted for the International Dublin Impact Literary Award. Nominees for the prestigious award are chosen by libraries around the world, including the New York Public Library, which nominated Cisneros. Joining Caramelo are Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions, and Tahar Ben Jelloum's The Blinding Absence of Light, among others. The winner will be announced on June 17. In the meantime, Viva La Sandra!

Gemini Ink and the Girl Scouts of the San Antonio Area are partnering to present "All Colors, Shapes, and Sizes: We Are Beautiful," a series of creative writing workshops emphasizing positive body image and self-esteem. Dates are Sunday, June 13 (grades 4-6), Wednesday, June 16 (grades 2-3), and Thursday, July 17 (grades 4-6). Facilitators are local columnist Aretha Williams and poet Jenny Browne. Registration has already begun; the fee is $4. Call 349-2404 to register.

There is no shortage of readings this month; most of the events are scheduled for the first week of May. The 5th annual puro¡SLAM Finals will take place on Tuesday May 4 (at Sam's Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson St., 223-5259). This season's top eight poets will duel for spots on this year's slam team at the National Poetry Slam in St. Louis, says Co-Slam Master Phil West.

At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, at Café Revolución (527 El Paso, just off South Frio), the second installment of Wings Press' Extended Wings reading series will feature poets Paul Christensen and Jenny Browne. Christensen is a nationally known critic, a professor at Texas A&M University, and an award-winning poet. His recent collection of prose poems, Blue Alleys, won the Writers' League of Texas Violet Crown Award for Poetry. Browne is the author of At Once and Glass, and is a Michener Fellow. On May 20, the Extended Wings series will feature two more Texas literary favorites: Naomi Shihab Nye and Marian Haddad. Same time, same place. If you haven't yet made it to Café Revolución for a reading, it's time to extend your wings.

And don't miss First Friday at Gemini Ink (513 S. Presa, 734-9673). This month's reading, on May 7 at 6 p.m., promises to be a special treat for fans of the creative nonfiction genre. Lee Gutkind, "the Godfather of Creative Nonfiction," according to Vanity Fair, and the founder of the journal, Creative Nonfiction, will read, along with fiction writers Chuck Wachtel and Jocelyn Lieu, and poet Del Marie Rogers. •

By Jenifer Hamilton