TWO years ago we had this:
and it was amazing. Basically created by Zelene Pineda, Joe B and Stephen Gros, it was a no-brainer.
Formula: bus load of local poets + local venues + great poetry = Word Around Town Tour. 2006 was a golden year for all that. I was just getting to get to know Marlon Lizama and Jerome Washington (why the hell i didn't know them before, I dunno, por ser cabron, yo creo), and it was the first time I was running into poets from all over town under one roof!! It was refreshing. It was a chance to meet, mingle , network and share with the crowd a love of poetry and writing with people who felt about the word, the same as I do. And I was embarrassed that I had taken like a 3 year break from doing readings. i must have been crazy.
The second WAT as just as impressive, if not even more diverse. It was more raw, more in your face and surprising. We even had a special guest - Mr. Paul Flores from San Diego. Although I will admit, I had some mis-givings about this tour. It was a little suspect that Paul just kinda showed up on the tour. I remember him from a previous event the year before, but aside from that, no one ever came forward and said that he would be on the tour. It was just a little uncomfortable. He had a show in town with two other poets and it felt like he was using out time to do some free PR. But, it still didn't make a difference. In the end, pride aside, big headed egos deflated (mine included) and we breathed a breathe in between lines and stanzas and spoke of beautiful/ugly images, and the PEOPLE smiled. i came away impressed with Mr. Flores (and every other poet) and once i spoke with him, he mentioned that Houston was gem: It was the only place he knew that had more than 4 poetry spots in town. It was true. You could go see/read poetry every night of the week if wanted. But times do change . . .