People's Literary Festival

2022 Poets

Alan Berecka

Alan Berecka

Alan Berecka earns his keep as a librarian at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Four collections of his poetry have been published. His work has appeared in such journals as Texas Review, The Concho River Review, The Windward Review and The San Antonio Express. From 2017-2019, he served as the first Poet Laureate of Corpus Christi.

Purchase his book The Hamlet of Stittville on Amazon

Visit his website at


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Alexandria Canchola

Alexandria Canchola designs, illustrates, and creates immersive large-scale installations that are inspired by narrative, color, letterforms, and filmmaking. She has worked for publications, small businesses and non-profits in many roles working to solve problems creatively so ideas can come to life. Canchola has a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA in 2D Design from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She has completed residencies at Otis College of Art and Design and Zea Mays Printmaking. Her design and illustration work have received awards from American Illustration, American Advertising Federation, Pulse Magazine, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art and more. Canchola is currently an Assistant Professor for the Graphic Design program at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi eagerly working to assist her students in their quest for knowledge so they may fully understand the power they wield as designers in communicating ideas that change everything


Social: @alexandriacanchola

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Clemonce Heard

Clemonce Heard is the winner of the 2020 Anhinga-Robert Dana Poetry Prize selected by Major Jackson. His debut collection, Tragic City, investigates the events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.Heard was a recipient of the 2019-2020 Ronald Wallace Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a 2018-2019 Tulsa Artist Fellowship. He earned an BFA in graphic communications from Northwestern State University, and an MFA in creative writing from Oklahoma State University. Heard’s work has appeared or is forthcoming from The Missouri Review, Cimarron Review, World Literature Today, and elsewhere. He is the current Sala Diaz artist-in-residence in San Antonio, Texas.

Colin Pope Author Photo

Colin Pope

Colin Pope is the author of Why I Didn’t Go to Your Funeral (Tolsun Books, 2019) and the forthcoming collection Prayer Book for the New Heretic (NYQ Books). Poems, essays, and criticism have appeared in journals and publications such as Slate, The Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, West Branch, AGNI, Ninth Letter, Third Coast, Pleiades, Willow Springs, Best New Poets, and others. Colin serves on the editorial board of Nimrod International and is an assistant professor of English at Del Mar College.

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Cynthia A Alvarez

A local artist who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Originally from Dallas, Cynthia has made her home in Corpus since 1992 and was one of the founding members of K Space Contemporary studios. She has been a community art educator in the community for over 15 years and works in the mental health field. She has instructed at grant-funded programs and has facilitated art outreach for The Art Museum of South Texas, The Art Center of Corpus Christi and K Space Contemporary. She teaches different mediums including collage, mixed media, painting, drawing, retablos and art jewelry. The co-creator of the grant “Creating Hope with Art” with K Space Contemporary and Esperanza De Tejas in 2021, she curated a community art show as a part of the grant. Currently her body of work include the pieces, “Love Letters to My King” and “Just One Miracle”. This work deals with processing trauma with art. In this journey of healing, Cynthia has found a visual vocabulary of recurrent themes that have personal power. Cynthia participated in The Writer’s Studio zoom poetry classes and learned valuable tools like ekphrastic poetry and word collage. These skills are new and have influenced her visual creative style.

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Cyrus Cassells

Cyrus Cassells is the 2021 Texas Poet Laureate. Among his honors: a Guggenheim fellowship, the National Poetry Series, a Lambda Literary Award, a Lannan Literary Award, two NEA grants, a Pushcart Prize, and the William Carlos Williams Award. His 2018 volume, The Gospel According to Wild Indigo, was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award, the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award, and the Balcones Poetry Prize. Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas, translated from the Catalan, was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters’ Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translated Book of 2018 and 2019. He was nominated for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for his film and television reviews in The Washington Spectator. His latest book is The World That the Shooter Left Us (Four Way Books: Feb. 2022). He teaches in the M. F. A. program at Texas State University and received the 2021 Presidential Award for Scholarly/Creative Activities, one of the university’s highest honors.

Danny Solis

Danny Solis

Poet, educator, actor, musician, MC and (most importantly) father, Danny Solis was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and wrote his first poem at age 5. Solis has been a working poet and educator since 1990. In that time he has performed and led workshops for people of all ages all over the lower 48 states, Canada, Africa, Asia and Europe. He is a co-founder of Rochester Art Ensemble, an interdisciplinary art collective that seeks to combine different art forms in new and exciting ways. Solis has also served for six years as the Director of the Day of the Dead Poets Slam, a cross cultural community festival featuring traditional and modern elements of poetry, visual arts, music, dance and Dia de los Muertos. Solis believes that poetry saves lives and literacy makes everything better, everything. Solis lives with his 13 year old son Teagan, the light of his life

Danny Solis is a Poetry Slam Champion on multiple levels including eight city championships, two regional championships, Southwestern and Southeastern, two national championships and two international championships both team and individual.

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Eduardo Villarreal de los Reyes

Eduardo Villarreal de los Reyes. (H. Matamoros, Tam). Ha recibido varios premios y reconocimientos por su obra. En 1983 Obtuvo primer lugar en Cuento y Poesía en la Facultad de Ciencias de la Comunicación (UANL). En 1996 el Festival Internacional de Otoño le otorgó el Reconocimiento a las Expresiones del Arte. Es director de la Casa del Poeta “Pablo Neruda” en Brownsville, Texas. Su obra se incluye en “Poetas de Ayer y Hoy en Tamaulipas” (1983), compilado por Ramón Durón Ruiz. En 2019 publica su libro “Ahora pregunto yo”, en 2020 “A veces la poesía” y “Todo de Nuevo”. En 2021 recopila “Lustro”, libro con que se celebró los cinco años de Poesía en Atril.

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Gloria Rodríguez

Maestra en Letras Hispánicas por Universidad de Texas en Brownsville /TSC. Ha participado en el Congreso Binacional “Letras en el Estuario” en el encuentro de escritores “Voces en la Frontera”. en “Poesía en atril”, “Club de Letras y Arte”, “Aniversario Tula 400”, Letras en la frontera, UNAM San Antonio, People’s Poetry Festival Corpus Christi, entre otros. Algunos de sus textos se incluyen en las antologías Palabra de poeta (2012), Confusión de cuerpos (2013), Rara ubicuidad Antología de poesía, narrativa y ensayo (2013), Criaturas supersticiosas (2014), Ciudad de palabras (2016), Los días con otro nombre (2018), Estuario de la palabra (2018), Urdimbres interiores (2020) Silencios compartidos (2020), Daños colaterales (2020), Lustro (2021), XV Años de Voces en la Frontera (2021). Libros publicados: Santuarios lejanos (ALJA Ediciones, 2016) y Salmos en el sueño (Ediciones Monarca, 2020). Directora de Ediciones Monarca, su casa editorial.

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Halli Castro

Halli Castro is a Corpus Christi poet, wife, and aspiring novelist. She has recently published her first collection of poetry, Neuromuscular, as a part of her quest to bring awareness to the movement disorder Dystonia and give a voice to the struggles of chronic illness and disability. After struggling with the roller coaster of self-acceptance and finding her voice in the light of a lifelong diagnosis, she seeks to bring a sense of comfort and camaraderie in her emotionally raw portrayals of pain and bring beauty to struggle through her view of nature as a reflection of the body. 

Her book can be found on Amazon.

Find her on Instagram or Twitter.

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Jacob Benavides

Jacob R. Benavides is a current Senior at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi studying English Literary Studies with minors in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Studio Art. His writing focuses on exploring the material and immaterial nature of an early 20 something year old, all the certain uncertainty included. He is particularly attentive to themes of Queer identity, love, mental health, familial identity, and the relation of bodies both physical and imaginary within the ever-shifting landscape of existence in South Texas. Jacob has previously been published in the Windward Review, with Texas Poetry Assignment and in the Notes app on his phone. He received a HAAS writing award for creative writing in 2020 and is currently working on a collection of poetry entitled The Melting of Mars (and other bodies).

You can find him on Instagram.

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Juan Antonio González

Juan Antonio González escribe poesía, cuento y ensayo. Funge como profesor de Letras Hispánicas en Texas Southmost College de Brownsville, TX. Es editor de la revista arbitrada El Novosantanderino y la revista estudiantil De Puño y Letra. También participa en el consejo editorial de las revistas arbitradas Puentes, ASU, y Pegaso, OU. Sus trabajos aparecen en más de un centenar de revistas arbitradas del medio. Es autor del poemario Itineransias, Ed. LAGO, y está por salir su obra de narración breve En la Encrucijada y otros cuentos.  

Juan Manuel Pérez

JUAN MANUEL PÉREZ, a Mexican-American poet of Indigenous descent and a Poet Laureate for Corpus Christi, Texas (2019-2020), is the author of several books of poetry including the Elgin Nominated, SPACE IN PIECES (The House Of The Fighting Chupacabras Press, 2020), SCREW THE WALL! AND OTHER BROWN PEOPLE POEMS (FlowerSong Books, 2020), and the new book, PLANET OF THE ZOMBIE ZONNETS (2021) by Hungry Buzzard Press. His poetry has appeared in numerous scholarly journals and reviews, national and international anthologies, as well as, magazines and websites. The award-winning poet, history teacher, and Pushcart Nominee, is also a member of the Poetry Society of Texas, the San Antonio Poets’ Association, the Horror Writers Association (HWA), the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, the Horror Authors Guild, the Baseball Bards, and the Military Writers Society of America. He has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Author’s Guild (2021). The former Migrant worker and recent HWA Diversity Grant Recipient (2021) worships his Creator and chases chupacabras in the South Texas Coastal Bend Area.

Learn more about him at

Karen Cline-Tardiff

Karen Cline-Tardiff has been writing since she could hold a pen. She writes poetry, flash fiction, personal essays, short stories, and grant requests. Karen also edits for a small group of friends. She has been published in a variety of online and print outlets. She was born in Texas, lived a little bit of everywhere, and now resides on the Texas Gulf Coast. When she can’t find poetry somewhere, she puts it there.

She is the founder of the Aransas County Poetry Society, which hosts a monthly open mic. She started the Poems on the Go project in Aransas County. She is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Gnashing Teeth Publishing.

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Katherine Hoerth

Katherine Hoerth is the author of five poetry collections, including the forthcoming Flare Stacks in Full Bloom (Texas Review Press, 2022). She is the recipient of the 2021 Poetry of the Plains Prize from North Dakota State University Press and the 2015 Helen C. Smith Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters for the best book of poetry in Texas. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines including Atticus, Valparaiso Review, and Southwestern American Literature. She is an assistant professor at Lamar University and editor of Lamar University Literary Press. 

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Kianny N Antigua

Kianny N. Antigua (Dominican Republic, 1979) is a lecturer at Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) and independent translator and  adapter for Pepsqually, V O, Sound Design, Inc. She has published twenty children’s books, four short story books, two poetry books, one book of mirco-stories, a novel, an anthology and a magazine. She has won sixteen literary awards and her work appear in a diverse range of anthologies, text books, magazines and other media. Some of her work have also been translated to French, English and Italian. 

Liliana Valenzuela Headshot

Liliana Valenzuela

Liliana Valenzuela is an award-winning poet and acclaimed Spanish translator of works by authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, and Denise Chavez. She is the author of the book of poems titled Codex of Love: Bendita Ternura, published (FlowerSong Books, 2020) and Codex of Journeys: Bendito Camino (Mouthfeel Press, 2013) and several chapbooks. She is a Macondo and Canto Mundo fellow and has held residencies at Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow and Vermont Studio Center. A native of Mexico City, Valenzuela lives and works in Austin, Texas. 

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Lisa Lewis

Lisa Lewis has published six books of poetry, most recently The Body Double (Georgetown Review Press, 2016) and Taxonomy of the Missing (The Word Works, 2018).  A chapbook titled The Borrowing Days was also recently released by Emrys Press.  Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Gulf CoastAgni OnlineInterim, Posit, Diode, Florida Review, and elsewhere.  She directs the creative writing program at Oklahoma State University and serves as editor of the Cimarron Review.   

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Matt Sedillo

Matt Sedillo has been described as the “best political poet in America” as well as “the poet laureate of the struggle” by academics, poets, and journalists alike. He has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, at numerous conferences and forums such as the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, and at over a hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, among many others. He is the current literary director of the dA Center for the Arts and author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (Flowersong Press, 2019).
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Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy is a poet, musician, and sometimes starving artist. His works focus on race, politics, and the inevitable crises that occur in your twenties. Currently working on his first collection of poetry titled “ A Work in Progress”. Matthew is a creative trying to capture emotions through both writing and music.

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Mauricio Espinoza

Mauricio Espinoza (León Cortés, Costa Rica, 1975) is a poet, translator, and researcher. He is assistant professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at the University of Cincinnati. He holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Literatures and Cultures from The Ohio State University. He has co-translated (with Keith Ekiss and Sonia Ticas) the work of Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio into English, including the bilingual anthology Territory of Dawn: The Selected Poems of Eunice Odio (Bitter Oleander Press, 2016) and The Fire’s Journey (Tavern Books, 2013-19). His translation of Costa Rican poet Randall Roque’s collection Hago la herida para salvarte / I Make the Wound to Save You was published in 2020 by ArtePoética Press. He has also translated, into Spanish, poems by Salvadoran-American authors Lorena Duarte and José B. González (published in the anthology Teatro bajo mi piel, Kalina, 2014).

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Miriam Damaris Maldonado

Miriam Damaris Maldonado nació en Puerto Rico. Estudió Psicología, Trabajo Social y Estudios del género. Es poeta, ensayista, narradora. Ganó el primer lugar en el festival literario de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico (2009 y 2010). Su trabajo ha sido publicado en diferentes medios en Argentina, Italia, México, Puerto Rico, España y Estados Unidos. Funda junto a mujeres maravillosas el recién conocido Colibrí Feminista de Houston donde trabajan un feminismo interseccional.

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is an author, songwriter, and award-winning poet living in Wimberley, Texas. He holds a PhD in English and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma where he’s taught for over 20 years. He served as Poet Laureate for the State of Oklahoma in 2013/14, and now travels fulltime performing readings, concerts, workshops and speaking on creativity, poetry, and songwriting.

Nathan has published 25 books. Most recent is his new collection of poems, In the Days of Our Resilience, the fourth in a series now known as the Pandemic Poems Project, a collection of commissioned poems that deal with the days of the pandemic, and a new travel memoir Just Another Honeymoon in France: A Vagabond at Large. Karma Crisis: New and Selected Poems, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Oklahoma Book Award. His earlier book, Two Tables Over, won the Oklahoma Book Award.

He’s taught memoir, poetry, songwriting, and performance workshops from Tuscany and Ireland to the Sisters Folk Festival in Oregon, the Taos Poetry Festival, the Woody Guthrie Festival, Laity Lodge, the Everwood Farmstead Foundation in Wisconsin, as well as for Blue Rock Artist Ranch near Austin, Texas.

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Nicole Bren

Nicole is a 27 year old artist. She likes to focus on personal and controversial topics. One of her goals as a writer is to express ownership of the authentic self and shedding inorganic feelings associated with responses to situations/experiences. While some poems are about herself, others focus on more abstract ideas which can be interpreted by the audience in a more individualized experience. She enjoys self-expression, depth of character, and ownership of one’s ideas. She believes that not only preservation and restoration of one’s self and one’s art are important, but they are practices that need more attention. Some of her inspirations include Marcel Marceau/Bip the Clown, Rococo/Late Baroque, and the life of Vincent Van Gogh.

Preferred email:

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Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Odilia Galván Rodríguez, poet, writer, editor-publisher, and activist, is the author of six volumes of poetry. Her latest book from FlowerSong Press is The Color of Light ~ Poems to the Mexica and Orisha Energies. She is also a co-editor, along with the late Francisco X. Alarcón, of the award-winning anthology Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, The University of Arizona Press. She is the editor-in-chief and publisher at Prickly Pear Publishing & Nopalli Press. Additionally, she has worked as the editor for several magazines, including Tricontinental Magazine in Havana, Cuba, Switchgrass Review, Corpus Christi, and online – Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal and Anacua Literary Arts Journal. 

Prickly Pear Publishing & Nopalli Press 

Poets Responding 

Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal 

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PW Covington

PW Covington lives just north of Historic Route 66 in New Mexico.
He is the author of five full length collections of poetry, a novel, and in 2019, his collection ‘North Beach and Other Stories’ was named an International Book Award Finalist in LGBTQ fiction.
Before moving to New Mexico, and in blatant opposition to prevailing community values, Covington hosted the monthly ‘Libre Lengua’ poetry performance and open mic series for over two and a half years in Victoria,Texas.
PW’s poetry and prose have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards. He is a 100% service connected disabled veteran and a convicted felon.
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Robin Carstensen

Robin Carstensen’s In the Temple of Shining Mercy was awarded an annual first-place award by Iron Horse Literary Press, and published in 2017.  Poems are also published in BorderSenses, Southern Humanities Review, Flowersong Press anthologies, Lacar Press LGBTQI+ anthology, Demeter Press’s anthology, Borderlands and Crossroads: Writing the Motherland, and many more. She directs the creative writing program at Texas A&M University-CC where she advises The Windward Review: Literary Journal of the South Texas Coastal Bend, and is co-founding, senior editor of the Switchgrass Review: literary journal of health, and transformation.  

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Rodney Gomez

Rodney Gomez’s newest collection is Arsenal With Praise Song. He is the author of Geographic Tongue, winner of the Pleiades Press Visual Poetry Series and Ceremony of Sand, winner of the Discovery Prize from the Writers League of Texas. His work appears in PoetryNew England ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewRattleNorth American ReviewVerse DailyPoetry Daily, and other journals. His chapbook Mouth Filled Night was awarded the Drinking Gourd Prize from Northwestern University’s Poetry and Poetics Colloquium. He was an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellow and a Mellon Arts and Practitioner Fellow at Yale University. A member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, Gomez was the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate of McAllen, Texas. He serves as advisory editor for FlowerSong Press and a board member of Newfound, a nonprofit publisher that explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding.


Twitter: @rodneyxgomez

Stefan Sencerz

Stefan Sencerz

Stefan Sencerz born in in Warsaw, Poland, came to the United States to study philosophy and Zen Buddhism. He teaches philosophy, Western and Eastern, at the Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. He has numerous publications in professional philosophy journals as well as several refereed poems that appeared in various nationally distributed poetry journals. He has been active on a spoken-word scene winning the slam-masters poetry slam in conjunction with the National Poetry Slam in Madison Wisconsin, in 2008, as well as several slams in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Chicago.

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Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is the 2021-2022 Corpus Christi Poet Laureate and the Langdon Review’s 2022 Writer-In-Residence. Murphy’s books: Snake Woman Moon (2021), Pearl (2020), American History (2017), co-edited Stone Renga (2017).


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Zoe Elise Ramos - ZER

Zoe Elise Ramos (also known as ZER) is a native Corpus Christi poet. Their poetry is genre-fluid and can have auditory, visual, and scholarly components. With respect to the intimate relationship between time, audience, and an artist, ZER embraces the way their own pieces evolve and change naturally during performance. They often rewrite and write over works they have already published or shared. They also use photography, art media, and video to explore multiple dimensions of pieces and statements. They are a graduate student at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi where they engage in creative scholarship involving the human body and its connection to numbers. They are the Senior Editor of Windward Review creative journal and blog.

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