Carmen Tafolla

Marten Holdway / / Pixabay Creative Commons

This week on Fronteras:

  • The rich history of tamales.
  • Remembering a Pearl Harbor hero in Waco (12:56).
  • Ballet dancer lives the American dream performing “The Nutcracker” (15:37).

Marten Holdway / / Pixabay Creative Commons

It’s the season for tamales. They come in all sizes and are filled with all sorts of ingredients. And in the Mexican culture, making tamales is a community affair, with family and friends gathering to create the flavorful packets.

Carmen Tafolla and Ellen Riojas Clark are comadres and tamaleras. Tafolla is the former San Antonio poet laureate, and Clark is the endowed chair in bicultural-bilingual studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. They are the co-authors of the book, “Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization.”

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Part of the Texas poet laureate’s job is to introduce the power of poetry to every corner of the state. And that’s a charge that current Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla takes very seriously.

Tafolla is launching a project called Planting Poet Trees – sowing seeds of inspiration in Texas Public Schools. She’s looking for schools that are dealing with shrinking budgets and underfunded libraries that she can engage with to participate in writing projects and poetry workshops.

Octavio Quintanilla

Laurie Ann Guerrero was named the city of San Antonio Poet Laureate in the spring of 2014. 

Jason Lewis / U.S. Department of Energy

Fronteras: The Democrat facing newly-nominated Republican Dan Patrick in the Texas lieutenant governor race says Sen. Patrick’s pledge to campaign in the minority community is “insulting.” New EPA rules to cut carbon emissions are expected to be unveiled soon. The new rules are expected to spur the use of a so-called clean coal technology. There are fewer than 100 fluent speakers of Kumeyaay left in Southern California and northern Baja California, where they once dominated. Efforts are now underway to preserve the endangered language.