People's Literary Festival

Schedule: Saturday, February 24, 2024


Ropes Park, 3502 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

6:30 a.m.

Session 14

Haiku Walk

Stefan Sencerz

We will meet on the beach about a half an hour before sunrise. We will start with a brief guided meditation. Then, after introducing a “haiku training exercise”, we will write haiku for as long as we wish (say 30 minutes). It will be followed by sharing our efforts and the discussion of haiku and the process of writing them.

All Saint’s Episcopal Church, 3026 S Staples St, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Book Fair 9 am to 5 pm on the Labyrinth

Concessions by Paloma Street Market.

Breakfast Served 9 am to 11 am

Lunch Served from 11 am to 3pm

Free Popcorn and Beverages


All Day Session

Austin Typewriter, Ink: Type-In

David Torres

Drop in and type in. Join typewriter enthusiast and master collector, David Torres, who will have a selection of vintage and antique typewriters for you to try. Enjoy writing with the tactile clack of these beautiful machines and see how changing your mode of writing can transform your ideas.  

9 a.m.

Session 15A

Children's Literary Authors Talk

Rosa Esthela Mora, David Norec, Claudia Villareal, Patty York Raymond, Roy Cervantes

Four children’s book authors would introduce their books, speak about what goes into an author presentation for school, local libraries or local bookstores. We would discuss our book topics and presentation topics and the lessons they provide. 

Session 15B

Remembering the Earth: Three Poets

Alan Berecka, Paul Bowers, Ken Hada, Cullen Whisenhunt

“Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.” – N. Scott Momaday “

This panel features poets from the prairies of Northwestern Oklahoma, the Cross-Timbers section of central Oklahoma, and the Ouachita Forests of Southeastern Oklahoma. These poets “dwell” in these places. Their poetry “wonders” upon these landscapes that shape them and the life filling them. Their poetry looks at this life from “many angles.”

10 a.m.

Session 16A

Postcard Poetry

Laura Pena

With 10 years of experience participating in postcard poetry festivals, Laura Pena will lead this workshop focused on the craft of writing short form poetry directly on postcards. Participants will take inspiration from postcard images and will be provided with postcards to create their own Postcard Poetry.

Session 16B

Young Adult: Multi-Genre

Ron Ramierz, Randal Lee Gritzner, Thomas Ray Garcia, Rosa Esthela Mora

We plan to discuss the Literacy Crisis in an attempt to motivate young adults to read more. Individual futures and the future of our nation are at stake. We will chat about our reasons for writing and the fact that our panelists write in multiple genres. Short readings will be included. 81% of Texas students can’t read at grade level, and we hope to rattle some cages! Our target is readers and writers of YA literature alike.

11 a.m.

Session 17A

The Bad Place: How to Write a Dystopian Story

Heather Twardowski

This workshop aims to teach writers the components of constructing a dystopian story. Topics covered will include defining “dystopia,” how it usually comes about, examples of dystopian literature, world building, conflict and plot development, and character creation. Writers will get the opportunity to develop their own dystopian story by the end of the workshop.

12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Session 17B

Haiku Deathmatch

Stefan Sencerz

A legend has it that, in the early 1670s, Bashō and his students devised an event called “the seashell game” in which poets competed head-to-head with their original haiku and a winner was selected by a judge. In the early 1990s, over 3 centuries later, a poet from the Illinois poetry slam scene named Daniel Ferri created the Haiku Death Match, infusing the Japanese practice with a slew of Western conventions ranging from the roast to the rap battle. The slam-style haiku, also known as “ku,” is just a 17 (or less) syllables poem and contains no title. Poets battle one-on-one until only one “haikuin” is left standing.

1 p.m.

Session 18A

Memoir: Genre of Self-Remembrance and Self-Reflection

Jon Dyen, Sarah K Lenz, Ron George

“If you want to write memoir, you need to set caterwauling narcissism to the side,” writes Beth Kephart in Handling the Truth. “Real memoirists open themselves to self-discovery and, in the process, make themselves vulnerable.” In this craft lecture, we’ll discuss the inherent difficulties of this process and how to overcome them.

Session 18B

Ethereal Poetry of Sadness, Longing, Beauty, and the Damned

Tom Murphy, Chuck Etheridge, Dustin Hackfeld, Stephen Gambill, Joe Wilson, Joshua Bridgwater Hamilton

John Keats’s poetry described poetry as moments of feeling “uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”  Each of the four poets in this panel–Dustin Hackfeld, Stephen Gambill, Joe Wilson, Joshua Hamilton—write of these mysterious moments that find us open to love, hope, beauty, and terror.

2 p.m.

Session 19A

Mutli-Genre Creative Workshop: Documenting (Narrating) Our Families of Choice and Intentional Communities

Robin Carstensen

Through a series of prompts, this workshop invites you to explore the alternative families, safe harbors, and intentional communities that many of us create to find support and belonging. What experiences shape our ability to create nurturing, affirming families and communities in the face of trauma, isolation, marginalization by long held cultural beliefs? How can our stories be a beacon? All ages, backgrounds, genres welcome! 

Session 19B

Something Fantastic: Speculative Writers in the Coastal Bend

Chuck Etheridge, Devorah Fox, David Carpenter, John Forbus

Published and aspiring science fiction and fantasy authors take you to strange new worlds–or will make you take a second look at the world you already live in.  Might the stories you write come true?  Is West Texas really as empty as people say, or is it a refuge for magical beings?  How would a shapeshifting outcast nobleman’s son, never groomed for office, do when thrust onto the throne?  These and other questions might be answered…..

3 p.m.

Session 20A

The Short Poem

J. L. Wright

Join J.L. Wright for an exploration of some of the short poem forms through examples and writing. Short poems are often tougher than writing long poems because poets spend more time on word choice and clarity. You will read examples, analyze them, and move what you learn into your own writing. You leave with at least three first draft short poems.

Session 20B

Embodying Women's Bodies in Writing

Zoe Elise Ramos, Heather Stark, Sarah K Lenz, Jayne-Marie Linguist

In this creative showcase of poetry, nonfiction, and memoir, three women writers share their work about writing from a female body about the female body, using both queer and cis-gendered perspectives. Their work explores puberty, toxic beauty and diet culture, motherhood, and mother-daughter relationships.   

4 p.m.

Session 21A

Second Person: You and Your Reader

Wes Jamison

We can’t expect a captive audience: our readers may want more than lists of actions and adjectives, descriptions of what we see, think, and imagine. Readers may wish to have a role, to be more involved. In this generative workshop, we will experiment with the word “you,” with person, voice, and reference to see what new possibilities appear for reader engagement. All levels and abilities welcome.

Session 21B

Central Texas Bilingual Poetry: Versos del corazon de Tejas

Joshua Bridgwater Hamilton, Abra Gist, Joe Lozano, Bianca Perez, Eduardo Villarreal

This panel will feature poets who identify with or work in the central Texas region.  These poets actively engage bilingual poetics to some degree, or they directly address the poetics of living in multiple cultural and linguistic contexts that create tension between Spanish and English. 

Thank You to our Sponsors!

Contact Us

Skip to content