Headliners, Ito Romo, Nan Cuba, Anel Flores, and Laurie Ann Guerrero, bring great diversity to OLLU’s 2014 Literary Festival, “Rebirth and Renacimiento.” With events that explore various forms of writing, spoken word, and drama, this year’s festival is sure to enthrall audiences.

Ito Romo
Ito Romo will read from his new collection, “ The Border is Burning,” where he explores the world of violence and complexity of those who live on the border between Mexico and the United States. He is also the author of “El Puente/The Bridge (UNM Press).”

 Nan Cuba
Nan Cuba is the author of "Body and Bread" (Engine Books, 2013), winner of the PEN Southwest Award in Fiction, one of “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now” in "O, The Oprah’s Magazine," and a “Summer Books” choice from "Huffington Post." She also co-edited "Art at our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists" (Trinity University Press, 2008), and published other work in such places as "Quarterly West," "Columbia," "Antioch Review," "Harvard Review," "storySouth," and "Connotation Press."

Anel Flores

Anel Flores is a Tejana border-born lesbiana, writer, visual artist, metal-smith, educator and independent scholar. She is author of the novel, “Empanada: A Lesbiana Story en Probaditas,” (Kórima Press & Evelyn Street Press), and the play “Empanda,” which has been produced at multiple venues including the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, MACLA in San Jose, Calif., MECA in Houston, the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio and at national art festivals. Additional work can be found in the “San Antonio Current” (2012), “Ignite Magazine” (2011), “El Mundo Zurdo” with Aunt Lute press (2010), “Sinister Wisdom 74” (2008), “Rooted: A Queer Women of Color Anthology” (2008), “iungo Arts Magazine” (2007), the “Lodestar Quarterly” (2005), “The Pitkin Literary Review” (2004), “La Voz de Esperanza” (2004 & 2006), “Mother Tongues: A Literary Exchange Anthology” (2003), Revolution (2002), “Scarcely Scholarly” (1997), and the University of the Incarnate Word’s Literary Anthology, “Quirk” (1995).

Laurie Ann

Born and raised in the Southside of San Antonio, Laurie Ann Guerrero received the Academy of American Poets Prize, among others, at Smith College. Winner of the 2012 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, her first full-length collection, “A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying,” selected by Francisco X. Alarcón, was released by University of Notre Dame Press in 2013. Guerrero's poetry and critical work have appeared in “Huizache,” “Texas Monthly,” “Bellevue Review,” “Women's Studies Quarterly,” “Global City Review,” “Texas Observer,” “Chicana/Latina Studies,” “Feminist Studies” and others. Guerrero's chapbook, “Babies under the Skin” (2008), won the Panhandler Publishing Award, chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye.


All events are free and open to the public.


Student Open Mic
12-1 p.m. • Providence Hall, West Social Room
Students, faculty and staff are invited to read their own work or the work of others. Event sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta.

Finding A New Beat
2-3:15 p.m. • Providence Hall, West Social Room
Writers from the Rio Grande Valley - Chris Carmona, Juan Ochoa and Brian Allen Carr - will read selections from their recently published books.

Starting Over: Reading by Reyes Cárdenas

4-5 p.m. • Providence Hall, Blue Room
While making a living as a machinist, Reyes Cárdenas wrote poems. He will read from his recently published collection, “Chicano Poet: 1970-2010,” a retrospective of his new poetry that includes selections from six of his previous publications, and six new, never-published, collections of poetry.

The Border Renewed: Reading by Ito Romo
6-7 p.m. • Providence Hall, West Social Room
San Antonio, Laredo, and places in-between are present in Ito Romo’s stories. He will read from his new collection, “The Border is Burning,” where he explores the world of violence and complexity of those who live on the border between Mexico and the United States.


“The Thing Itself” Reading
12-1 p.m. • Providence Hall, West Social Room

The latest edition of OLLU’s literary journal, “The Thing Itself,” will be unveiled. The Student Editorial Board and Faculty Adviser, Dr. Octavio Quintanilla, will present this event.

Five Shades of a Heroine: Unmasking the Female Paragon
2-3 p.m. • Providence Hall, Blue Room
OLLU alumna, Sabrina Zertuche, will present her work.

A New Renaissance
4-5:45 p.m. • Providence Hall, Blue Room
Faculty from the Department of English, Mass Communication and Drama will read their original work.

Giving the Word Flesh
6-7 p.m. • Providence Hall, Blue Room
James Tolan’s work has been described as “breathtaking” and “striking.” He teaches at the City University of New York. He is the author of the poetry collection, “Mass of the Forgotten,” and the chapbook, “Red Walls.”

Embracing Second Chances
7:30-8:30 p.m. • Providence Hall, Blue Room

Award-winning author, Nan Cuba, will read from her novel, “Body and Bread.”


The Dawn of New Beginnings

9:30-10:45 a.m. • Thiry Auditorium
Designed for high school students, but open to the public, the program will begin with a reading and talk with Anel Flores, author of “Empanada,” and Laurie Ann Guerrero, author of “A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying.”

Awakening the Slam
12-1:30 p.m. • University Wellness and Activities Center (UWAC) Mabee Gymnasium
Following a campus tour and lunch, an open mic, hosted by San Antonio’s PuroSlam, will take place. PuroSlam is the only national certified poetry slam series in San Antonio.

Resurgence: Readings by Anel Flores and Friends
6-7 p.m. • Providence Hall, Blue Room
Anel Flores will read along with fellow writers Dino Foxx,
Rita Urquijo-Ruiz, Jackie Cuevas, Jesus Alonzo and Joe Jimenez.


Journalists Gone Fiction: Finding New Paths
3-4 p.m. • Providence Hall, Blue Room

Journalists talk about stepping out of their comfort zones to write fiction stories. The panel features Sanford Nowlin, Nan Cuba, Yvette Benavides, Ron Franscell and David McLemore.

“Thirteen Ways To Screw Up Your College Interview”
7 p.m. • 24th Street Theatre

Come enjoy this performance by Our Lady of the Lake University drama students.
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