University caps Hispanic Heritage Month with book reading, presentations

University caps Hispanic Heritage Month with book reading, presentations

Full schedule of month-long celebrations reflect the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who inspire others.

As a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution, Texas A&M University-San Antonio kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15, 2021, by commemorating the opening of “Nuestra Gente: A Tribute to Hispanic Innovators and Dreamers.” The photographic exhibit by local artist and creator Bernadette Peña is now a permanent part of the A&M-San Antonio campus. It features photos of Hispanic children from the local community dressed as historical leaders in San Antonio’s Hispanic community and other icons of Hispanic heritage telling their incredible stories through stunning pictures.

“As a campus with more than 75 percent Hispanic students, Hispanic Heritage Month is always a special time for us,” said President Cynthia Teniente-Matson. “Our institution is young, but our traditions connect us to the past and the present, and we invite everyone in our community to not only visit this exhibit but to tour the campus to see how all our art and architecture celebrates San Antonio’s proud and vibrant Hispanic community.”

Activities in recent weeks have included conversations about dance, art, history, and bilingualism and biculturalism. This final formal week of celebrations include a book reading and presentations on culture and money and the important work of the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute to chronicle and advance civil rights efforts in the United States.

Writer-in-Residence Reads Her Work

This Wednesday, October 13, at 7 p.m., A&M-San Antonio Associate Professor of English and the University’s Writer-in-Residence Laurie Ann Guerrero offers a public reading of her recently published book of poems, I Have Eaten the Rattlesnake: New & Selected (TCU Press, 2021).

Born and raised in the South Side of San Antonio, Guerrero is the author of three other collections including Babies under the Skin (Panhandler 2008); A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013); and A Crown for Gumecindo, a collaboration with visual artist, Maceo Montoya (Aztlan Libre Press, 2015).

In 2014, Guerrero was appointed Poet Laureate of the Cy of San Antonio by former Mayor Julian Castro. In May 2015, Guerrero was appointed the 2016 Poet Laureate of the State of Texas. 

Poets & Writers Magazine named Guerrero one of 10 top debut poets in 2014. Her work has received various awards including the 2007 Panhandler Chapbook Award; the 2012 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize from the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame; the 2016 Helen C. Smith Award for poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters; and a 2014 International Latino Book Award. Guerrero has been listed among must-read works of Chicano literature. Other honors include grants from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. 

Guerrero holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Smith College and an MFA in poetry from Drew University. In her role as an associate professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Guerrero teaches writing and gender studies. She is currently at work on her fifth collection, a mix of traditional and visual poems and essays.