The Sam Houston State University Department of History is hosting an appearance for the Texas Poet Laureate, Carmen Tafolla on October 7th at the Woodlands campus and October 8th on the main campus at 11 a.m. in Academic Building IV room 202.
As the state Laureate Tafolla is required to service the various communities throughout Texas, which is what brings her to Sam Houston State University.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Dr. George Diaz has been planning this event since May. “Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th and goes until October 15th, this celebrates the stories we tell, the food we eat, and the culture that is still thriving within us.”
Carmen Tafolla is the current Texas Poet Laureate; she is an associate professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and additionally has written short stories, children’s books, one volume of non-fiction, five books of poetry, and seven screenplays.
“Her work is very evocative of the Mexican-American culture in Texas”, Diaz said. Tafolla is an internationally known Chicana, which is apparent in many of her works.
“She attempts to remain as accessible to the public as she can”, Diaz said. Tafolla’s work is centered heavily around her family and her community.
When asked of Tafolla’s style, Diaz said,
“She acts it out as she is reading, she uses different voices for characters and inflects her voice as different situations occur. She is very entertaining to listen to”.
With the help of the SHSU History department, English department, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Diaz was able to secure both readings with Tafolla.
“It is a rare treat to have the state Poet Laureate on our campus”, Diaz said.
Diaz also said that the History department tries to vary the different events that transpire throughout Hispanic Heritage Month. “We have had dancers, artists, and now the Texas Poet Laureate, and there is no telling what we will think of for next year”, Diaz said.
Carmen Tafolla will be reading her poetry from her book This River Here: Poems of San Antonio on both Wednesday and Thursday. This book features her hometown of which her ancestors have resided for the last three centuries.
The first ten people who attend the SHSU main campus reading will receive a free copy of Tafolla’s This River Here: Poems of San Antonio.
There is no cost for admission and the event is open to the public.