Premier of Houston’s ONLY Monthly Bilingual Poetry Series – The Tintero Readings
Kick-Off- @ Talento Bilingüe de Houston, February 26th, 7:30 – 10:00pm
Houston, TX – Say hello to the city’s newest addition to the poetic art scene! The Tintero Collective proudly presents something for “la communidad” – a hybrid reading series that changes every month; a featured poet reading, an open mic night, a performance art experience, a poetry Q & A session, etc., etc. The most important feature is that this reading is BILINGUAL; Spanish, English, Spanglish – all are welcome. In the proud tradition of the former Nuestra Palabra Literary Showcase, the Tintero Readings plans to fill the void and build the voice of bilingual poets in the city who need a place to read, a place to express and a place to explore writing. The first ever reading will take place at Talento Bilingüe de Houston on Februrary 26th, from 7:30 – 10:00pm, and continue monthly, every fourth Wednesday of the month, under a new focus. The Tintero Collective (organizers of the Tintero Readings) plan to keep the readings relevant and open to the public.
Aside from producing a monthly bilingual reading series, the poets are using their skills to give back to community. In addition to working with Talento Bilingüe de Houston to put on the readings, several of the poets are working with Neighborhood Centers Inc., specifically the newly established Leonel Castillo Community Center. Poets Marlon Lizama and Lupe Méndez are already working with students from Jeff Davis High School (not far from the center, down Quitman) and college students from University of Houston-Downtown in poetry workshops designed to spark new work, while at the same time open up dialogue to different types of poems and poetry. “The work is timeless and necessary,” says Shannon Wight, one of the creative writing teachers at Davis High School,“ this is amazing work. This is what the students need. I attended the first workshop and am highly impressed with the level of professionalism in the presented by the poets, presenting work ranging from lyrics from rappers such as Slick Rick to celebrated poets like Lucille Clifton. This makes the kids think and they write.” Adding to the positive support is Castillo Community Center Director Jose Rivera- “ It is remarkable work, and having it at the Castillo Center is fitting, they need another environment to create great writing. We want to support the Tinteros as they produce something so important for our youth. They can have the space and write from here.”
In the end, the Tintero Reading Series and the Tintero Writing Workshops have been established to help support the “Latino Literary Renassanuce” started by Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say. Poet Lupe Mendez says “we want to see to it that when NP goes live on the radio at KPFT, that in the near future, it can be the words of Houston’s newest poets people will hear. I want to ensure that there is a literary legacy coming from our communities, from the North Side to the East End of Houston, there are voices that need to heard and voices we can show the public, in the workshops and in the readings. I want to establish a pathway to support writers, even if they don’t know they are writers yet.”