Carmen Tafolla

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Poet Maya Angelou died Wednesday morning, and who better for perspective on her passing than former San Antonio Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla.

"With the passing of Maya Angelou we have lost not just a great literary voice, but a courageous voice in defense of humanity." Tafolla said.

Here's an excerpt of the Paul Laurence Dunbar poem "Sympathy," which is perhaps Angelou's most apt metaphor and serves as the title of her autobiography:

Octavio Quintanilla

As of April 1, San Antonio has its second poet laureate in Laurie Ann Guerrero.

"I’m the new poet laureate of San Antonio, and I’m working on a new book,” she said.

Guerrero is just getting used to the new title and the work that it entails, and she has plans for how she wants to go about doing it. Priority one:

“Getting poetry into the hands of our youth" she said. "And what I want to do is use different avenues to do that -- media, events. I kind of want to bombard the city with poems. Inspiration. Comfort.”

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Carmen Tafolla, San Antonio's first poet laureate, will hand off her duties to her successor when his or her identity is announced today, April 1. 

Over the weekend Tafolla starred in a stellar compilation of poems that, together, tell the story of San Antonio's rich culture -- from Latino humor to gospel music and everything in between.   

"San Antonio, Mi Pueblo," a play of locally-themed performance poetry and original music, played to a packed house at Guadalupe Theater Saturday night. 

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Carmen Tafolla, San Antonio’s first poet laureate, is nearing the end of her time in the position, and as I found from talking to her, there’s no rest for the weary.

“Right now I’m still working away, scripting on a fantastic performance piece that is actually the last of the poet laureate signature series, and it’s March 29,” Tafolla said.

She will be joined onstage at the event by several other San Antonio poets and musicians.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

The city of San Antonio is looking for its top wordsmith. The pay isn’t great, but according to Dr. Carmen Tafolla, the gig is.

"It is a wonderful, wonderful experience," said Tafolla, San Antonio's current poet laureate whose reign is nearing the end. She said she thinks highly of the city that allowed her the honor to represent it.

"We are very, very fortunate to be in a city that recognizes the power of poetry, the power of words, and its ownership by the community," Tafolla said.

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