TEXAS, BEING: A STATE OF POEMS - San Antonio Book Festival
April 13, 2024


  • 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
  •    |   Location of Session: Texas Monthly Tent
  • Adult Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 5:00pm
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

Texas, Being: A State of Poems collects more than forty-five poems that paint a lovely and painful contradiction of space and meaning, giving a glimpse into the poetic soul of a beautiful and brutal state. Co-editor Jenny Browne, along with contributors Jan Beatty, Octavio Quintanilla, and ire’ne lara silva, reveal nuanced portraits of Texas.

About the Authors

Jan Beatty - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Beth Kukucka

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty is the author of eight books, including the forthcoming Dragstripping. Her memoir, American Bastard, won the Red Hen Nonfiction Award. Other books include Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, which received the Paterson Poetry Prize and was named Sandra Cisneros’s favorite book of 2019. Beatty has worked as a waitress, an abortion counselor, and in maximum security prisons. She is Professor Emerita at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she directed the Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops and the MFA program. She is a contributor to Texas, Being: A State of Poems. Her most recent book is The Body Wars, praised by The New York Times: “…Beatty’s new poems shimmer with luminous connection, travel a big life and grand map of encounters.”
Octavio Quintanilla - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Courtesy of Octavio Quintanilla

Octavio Quintanilla

Octavio Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing; the founder and director of the literature & arts festival, VersoFrontera; publisher of Alabrava Press, and former Poet Laureate of San Antonio, TX. His Frontextos (visual poems) have been published and exhibited widely. His new poetry collection, The Book of Wounded Sparrows, is forthcoming. He teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Our Lady of the Lake University. He is a contributor to Texas, Being: A State of Poems.

ire'ne lara silva - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Courtesy of ire'ne lara silva

ire'ne lara silva

ire’ne lara silva, the 2023 Texas State Poet Laureate, is the author of five poetry collections including furiaBlood Sugar CantoCUICACALLI/House of Song, and FirstPoems; two chapbooks, Enduring Azucares and Hibiscus Tacos; and a short story collection, flesh to bone, which won the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize. Her first comic book, VENDAVAL, is forthcoming. ire’ne is the recipient of a Tasajillo Writers Grant; a National Assocation of Latino Arts and Cultures Fund for the Arts Grant; the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award; and was the Fiction Finalist for A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Gift of Freedom Award. Most recently, ire’ne was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters Edwin “Bud” Shrake Award for Best Short Nonfiction. She is a contributor to Texas, Being: A State of Poems and her latest poetry collection is the eaters of flowers.


ire'ne lara silva - The San Antonio Book Festival

Jenny Browne

Jenny Browne is a professor of English and creative writing at Trinity University. Her most recent poetry collection is Fellow Travelers: New and Selected Poems. Her poems and essays have appeared most recently in the American Poetry Review, the Oxford American, Poetry, the Nation, and the New York Times. She served concurrent terms as the 2016–18 poet laureate of San Antonio and the 2017 poet laureate of Texas, and she was the 2019–20 Distinguished Fulbright Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2023. She lives in San Antonio.

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