State Artist Rosemary Catacalos
Rosemary Catacalos, 2013 Texas State Poet Laureate, was accidentally born in Florida during WWII of parents from San Antonio. She returned to San Antonio when she was three. Her poems are widely published in high school and college textbooks, among other venues. Her work has twice been collected in the annual Best American Poetry anthology and has earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Stegner Fellowship Program at Stanford University, and the Paisano Fellowship of the Texas Institute of Letters/University of Texas at Austin. One of her poems is included in Caroline Kennedy’s anthology, She Walks In Beauty, A Woman’s Journey Through Poems. Ms. Catacalos’ first full-length collection, Again for the First Time received the 1985 Texas Institute of Letters poetry prize. Again for the First Time was reissued in 2013 on its thirtieth anniversary. Also published in 2013 was a chapbook of newer poems, Begin Here, also from Wings Press.
1018 Avant Ave
San Antonio, TX 78210
public performance/concert $700 - $3,000
school performance $300 - $700
workshop fees TBD
Sarah Cortez, a councilor of the Texas Institute of Letters and Fellow of the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture, has been published in leading magazines, journals, newspapers, and anthologies. Although she is an award-winning poet, essayist, and memoirist, her true love is the classroom. She uses her teaching experience in academia and in the community to foster excitement, skill, and joy in writing for children, teens, and adults. She can bring "Your Life, Your Story, Your Truth," a workshop in personal and writing empowerment; or "The Circle Poem," a workshop in community-building and imaginative excitement; or "Let's Write a Mystery" to your middle school, high school, or adult learners. And, yes, to your elementary students as well! Photo by Phillippe Diederich.
Houston, TX 77098
public performance/concert $350 - $500
school performance $350 - $500
workshop fees $250 - $850
travel/per diem/lodging $0 - $800
John R. Erickson
John R. Erickson, a former cowboy and ranch manager, is gifted with a storyteller's knack for spinning a yarn. He has written more than ninety books and is best known for his Hank the Cowdog series of books and audios, which has sold more than nine million copies! Erickson self-published the first Hank book through Maverick Books. Erickson was born in Midland, Texas, but by the age of three his family had moved to Perryton, Texas, where he and his wife live today on their working cattle ranch. In live performances, John Erickson brings the characters from his bestselling Hank the Cowdog series to life through readings from his books and by performing original songs from Hank's adventures. He also can do programs about writing. Hank programs are great for all ages and sure to bring a smile to any audience. Photo by Western Horseman.
PO Box 549
Perryton, TX 79070
public performance/concert $1,500 - $4,000
school performance $1,500 - $4,000
workshop fees $1,500 - $4,000
travel/per diem/lodging $300 - $1,500
State Artist Carrie Fountain
Carrie Fountain’s poems have appeared in Tin House, Poetry, and The New Yorker, among others. Her debut collection, Burn Lake, was a National Poetry Series winner and was published in 2010 by Penguin. Her second collection, Instant Winner, was published by Penguin in 2014. Fountain’s debut novel, I’m Not Missing, was published in 2018 by Flatiron Books (Macmillan). Her forthcoming children’s book on the life and legacy of poet W.S. Merwin will be published by Candlewick Books. Born and raised in Mesilla, New Mexico, Fountain received her MFA as a fellow at the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Currently writer-in-residence at St. Edward’s University, she is the host of KUT’s This Is Just to Say, a radio show and podcast where she has intimate conversations with America’s most influential poets. Fountain lives in Austin with her husband, playwright and novelist Kirk Lynn, and their two children.
public performance/concert $2,000 - $4,000
school performance $1,500 - $3,000
workshop fees $2,500 - $4,000
State Artist Laurie Ann Guerrero
Laurie Ann Guerrero, 2016 Texas State Poet Laureate, was born and raised in the Southside of San Antonio. She holds a B.A. in English Language & Literature from Smith College, where she received the Academy of American Poets Prize, and an MFA in poetry from Drew University. Her first full-length collection, A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying, received the 2012 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize and an International Latino Book Award, and was listed as one of 14 must-read works of Chicano literature by Rigoberto Gonzalez. Guerrero’s work has also been honored with the Panhandler Chapbook Award, and grants from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. In 2014, Guerrero and was appointed poet laureate of San Antonio by Mayor Julian Castro. Her latest collection, A Crown for Gumecindo, was released by Aztlan Libre Press in spring 2015.
State Artist Karla Morton
Karla K. Morton, 2010 Texas Poet Laureate, is an award-winning author and a celebrated poet and presenter. She has been described as “one of the more adventurous voices in American poetry,” but don’t let the title “poet” fool you– Karla is an outgoing, warm and energetic ball of fire that loves to promote poetry and the arts. She has spoken, offered workshops, and performed her poetry at venues and events across Texas. From small town classrooms to cancer support groups to large corporate conferences, Karla is comfortable in any crowd. Her poetry spans many subjects and forms and evokes laughter, tears, and inspiration. Karla is the author of Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie (a North Texas Book Festival Awards Finalist), Becoming Superman, Stirring Goldfish, Redefining Beauty (a 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner written during her journey through cancer), and 6 additional books. She has been featured on Good Morning Texas, NPR, ABC News and in newspapers across Texas. A Texas native and mother of two, Karla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and currently resides in Denton, Texas. Karla also offers presentations on her photography.
236 River Bend Trail
Combine, TX 75159
public performance/concert $400 - $1,200
school performance $400 - $600
workshop fees $400 - $1,200
Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton
Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton is an internationally-known poet. She is a native Californian who now resides in Houston, TX and serves as the city's Poet Laureate (2017-2019). Formerly ranked the #2 Best Female Poet in the World, D.E.E.P. has established herself as a notable force in the performance and slam poetry world. D.E.E.P. is a three-time slam champ and ten-year coach and slammaster of Houston VIP National Poetry Slam Team. She has released two full-length poetry compilations (Unfinished Work of a Genius and Beautiful Rebellion). Her moving words have been featured on BBC, NPR, ABC, Upworthy, Blavity, and Button Poetry. She has served as the opening act for Talib Kweli, MC Lyte, Amiri Baraka, John Legend, Slum Village, Karen Clark-Shield, Def Poet Sunni Patterson, Regie Gibson, and multiple national political figures. Her work can be found in Wicked Banshee Press' Survival Issue, Alight's Collection of Poetry, and in the 2012 and 2017 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology. In addition to being a decorated performer and competitor, she travels the country offering performance and writing workshops. Photo by Houstonia Magazine.
6700 Mt Carmel Dr
Houston, TX 77087
public performance/concert $1,000 - $5,000
school performance $500 - $5,000
workshop fees $500 - $2,500
travel/per diem/lodging $100 - $3,000
2018 Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Houston Resident Artist Program and 2017 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Idea Fund grant recipient, Emanuelee Outspoken Bean is a performance poet, writer, compassionate mentor, electric entertainer, and educator. He was a 2011 Texas Poet Laureate nominee, ranked 9th in the Individual World Poetry Slam 2013, ranked 2nd in collaborative poetry at Group Piece Finals 2013, and ranked 9th at National Poetry Slam 2014. He started performing spoken word in 2005. Bean also works with youth organizations from across the country such as Inside Out in Detroit, Youth Speaks in San Francisco, and Tigertail Productions' 2016 youth slam, WordSpeak, in Miami. While balancing a very busy touring schedule, in Houston Bean serves as the project coordinator/lead coach/mentor for Meta-Four Houston, a project of Writers in the Schools (WITS) that works with professional performance/slam poets and encourages self expression/literacy among Houston's youth through creative writing and performance. He also has a one-man show, "Converse," which is an interactive theatrical story-telling based on Bean, a heartbroken, outspoken, comedic, military brat. The dramatic and provocative show lures the audience into joining a long overdue conversation about mistakes, redemption, and the power of words. Photo by Pin Lim.
1127 Usener Street
Houston, TX 77009
public performance/concert $700 - $1,000
school performance $500 - $1,000
workshop fees $500 - $1,000
travel/per diem/lodging $250 - $1,000
State Artist David M. Parsons
David M. Parsons, 2011 Texas State Poet Laureate, poems are straightforward, vivid writing bringing settings alive, shaping intimate portrayals of everyday life. His poetry speaks from the past and the present, balancing ordinary and extraordinary experiences. Audiences and readers will find in his most celebrated work: award-winning poems found in as diverse locales as a romantic, historic house in England to another favorite about the poet running into President Lyndon Johnson in an iconic Austin restaurant. His latest works are also included with new revelations that will bring what has become a Parsons Poem trademark, the rewarding discovery of a transforming moment.
414 Oakhill Dr.
Conroe, TX 77304
public performance/concert $500 - $1,000
school performance $300 - $500
workshop fees $300 - $500
State Artist Emmy Perez
Emmy Perez, 2020 Texas Poet Laureate, moved to the Texas borderlands because of her mother's stories about their family history in El Paso and Chihuahua. Pérez is the author of With the River on Our Face and Solstice and her work is anthologized in numerous collections. She is a former recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, CantoMundo, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Southern California, Pérez has been a member, since 2008, of the Macondo Writers Workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros for socially engaged writers. Currently, she serves on the organizing committee for CantoMundo, a national literary organization for Latinx poets and is a member of the Poets Against Walls collective. Pérez is Professor of Creative Writing and Associate Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Photo by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
public performance/concert TBD
school performance TBD
travel/per diem/lodging $500 - $800
State Artist Jan Seale
Jan Epton Seale, 2012 Texas Poet Laureate, is a native Texan. She is familiar with much of Texas, having lived in north and central Texas as a youth, with summers spent in the Panhandle, and living in South Texas all of her adult life. Seale received her education at Baylor University, the University of Louisville, and the University of North Texas. She has taught English and creative writing at three Texas universities. Her life’s work includes eight books of poetry, two of short fiction, three of nonfiction, and several children’s books and dramas. Apparent in her writing is her interest in the people and places of Texas, as well as those of the Southwest and the wider world. Her short stories have been described as a “capable evocation of peculiar personalities” with a “sense of nostalgia and richly drawn places”…“all ending in epiphany.” Her poems are said to be “both beautifully witty and serious.” Seale is at home with many types of audiences. She particularly enjoys college groups, civic and writers’ organizations, nature lovers, elder learners, women, and church lay-groups. Comfortable on stage or in small gatherings, with sensitivity to and rapport with her audiences, her presentations are noted for their humor and accessibility. Seale is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, the Texas Folklore Society, the Poetry Society of Texas, the Story Circle Network, and the Texas Writers’ League.
400 Sycamore Ave.
McAllen, TX 78501
public performance/concert $300 - $500
school performance $100 - $200
workshop fees TBD
Natalia Sylvester was born in Lima, Peru. Her novel Chasing the Sun (New Harvest) was named the Best Debut book of 2014 by Latinidad and chosen as a Book of the Month by the National Latino Book Club. Her second novel, Everyone Knows You Go Home, was published by Little A in March, 2018. Natalia's writing has been praised for "[causing] readers to consider how trauma has the power to strengthen individuals, mend the past, and uncover our deepest secrets and most arduous truths" (Publisher's Weekly). A former magazine editor with a journalism background, Natalia is a faculty member of the Mile-High MFA in Creative Writing program at Regis University. During readings, panels, workshops, and performances, Natalia explores fact-based fiction, family history, the personal impact of political turmoil, the links between trauma, violence, memory and grief, her experiences as a Latina immigrant, and the importance of amplifying the voices of marginalized people—all from an intersectional feminist perspective. Photo by Eric Sylvester.
PO Box 291672
Los Angeles, TX 90029
public performance/concert $500 - $2,000
school performance $250 - $2,000
workshop fees $650 - $1,500
travel/per diem/lodging $100 - $500
State Artist Carmen Tafolla
Dr. Carmen Tafolla, 2015 Texas State Poet Laureate, is known internationally for her moving inspirational performances and heart-felt poetry readings. A poet, children’s writer, performance artist, storyteller, motivational speaker, and Associate Professor at UTSA, Tafolla was chosen in 2012 as the first Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio. Her mission as State Poet Laureate is to plant seeds of poetry all over Texas through her “Poet Trees” initiative, sponsored by UTSA, in which twenty public schools with predominantly low-income student populations will be chosen to receive books and workshops free of charge between August 2015 and April 2016. Dr.Tafolla also conducts dramatic performances, keynotes, readings and workshops in English and Spanish to all age groups. The author of more than 20 books, her work appears internationally in five languages, in journals, magazines, newspapers, college textbooks, and elementary school readers, and she has won numerous awards including the Américas Award, the Charlotte Zolotow, the Art of Peace, two Tomas Rivera Book Awards, and five International Latino Book Awards.