Full Schedule 2013 Flor De Nopal Literary Festival

Information will be updated as it comes available. Thank you so much for visiting this site!

Please write flordenopal@gmail.com with any questions or to RSVP for any workshops


Events for Saturday, August 31st

Location: Raul R Salinas Classroom, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX

Writers Brunch Potluck 10a-12p

Bring goodies to share with other writers to celebrate the beginning of the 2013 Flor De Nopal Literary Festival Season. Greet old friends and meet new ones!

Writing Workshop 12p-2p “Writing Out the Monster” led by ire’ne lara silva

Most of us spent at least part of our childhoods terrified by the monster under the bed or in the closet, and while we may have lost our fear of the dark by now, those memories of the monster remain incredibly vivid. As adults, we reserve the words ‘monster’ and ‘monstrous’ for truly horrific persons, experiences, and events—or we shy away from ever mentioning monsters.  In this workshop, we will explore childhood memories of ‘The Monster’ as well as different ways to approach the idea of the monstrous in our writing (poetry or prose) to explore our adult interior and exterior worlds—emotionally, historically, politically, sexually, environmentally, etc.

ire’ne lara silva lives in Austin, and is the author of two chapbooks: ani’mal and INDíGENA. Her first collection of poetry, furia, was published by Mouthfeel Press in 2010 and received an Honorable Mention for the 2011 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. Her first collection of short stories, flesh to bone, will be published by Aunt Lute Press in 2013ire’ne is the Fiction Finalist for AROHO’s 2013 Gift of Freedom Award, the 2008 recipient of the Gloria Anzaldua Milagro Award, a Macondo Workshop member, and a CantoMundo Inaugural Fellow.  She and Moises S. L. Lara are currently co-coordinators for the Flor De Nopal Literary Festival.

Events for Saturday, Sept 21st

Location: Raul R Salinas Classroom, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX

 Writing Workshop 10am-12pm “Back to Basics” led by Lee Francis

All our writing and communication begins with our senses, the faculties we are enabled with in order to form experiences, thoughts, memories, and especially poetry. This workshop will help us remember how important these senses are to our writing and will focus on grounding us in their use. We will spend our time experiencing with our senses and finding dynamic ways to give words and form to the experience. Expect an exciting day of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell!

Lee Francis IV (Laguna Pueblo) is an award winning poet, performer, activist and intrepid explorer who has appeared on stages around the U.S. His work has appeared in multiple journals and anthologies, most recently, the Yellow Medicine Review. He serves as the National Director for Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, an organization dedicated to promoting the work and words of Native American and Indigenous People throughout the world.

Writing Workshop 12pm-2pm “Subvert Yourself” led by Lisa Estus

What would it be like to write something unthinkable? Unthinkable, that is, for your particular style,  definition of art, public persona, sense of appropriate topic, comfort level, or assumptions about what kind of writing has merit. This is an invitation into the experience of writing utterly unlike yourself—or possibly, more fully yourself than you may have permitted. We will perform multi-sensory exercises to transcend the ordinary ego state and unearth our self-imposed rules, then engage in writing exploration to playfully, joyfully foment rebellion.  Fret not, you won’t be alone. Together we will leap into the untoward.

Lisa Estus is a fiction writer and poet. Her work appears in Puerto del SolRain City ReviewReed Magazine and other literary journals.  Estus holds a B.S. degree in Public Relations with Creative Writing minor from San Jose State University and attended graduate classes in creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin. She is proud to have co-produced Austin’s second biennial AROHO Day Conference for Women Writers in 2012. Estus was born and raised in Chicago, came of age in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now lives in Austin, Texas, married with cats. She spends her free time subverting herself.

Events for Saturday, October 19th

Location: Raul R Salinas Classroom, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX

 Writing Workshop 10am-12pm  “Poetry as Dissent” led by Liza Wolff-Francis

Many poems illuminate stories and issues that are often hidden, ignored, or left out of the larger societal narrative. Poetry can be a platform for voices and experiences pushed to the margins. By examining several different works, we will explore how poetry is used to fight oppressive systems. Using prompts from example poems, we will write from our own experiences, putting our voices into the world to draw attention to our own struggles for equity, dignity, and social justice.

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer living in Austin, Texas. She is a co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival. Her work has most recently appeared in Border Senses, unseenfiction.com, and on the blogs “Minerva Rising,” “La Palabra: The Word Is a Woman,” and “The Feminist Justice League.” She has a poem posted in the Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage.” Every day she eats both popcorn and dark chocolate, and when she can, she loves riding miniature trains with her son.

 Writing Workshop 12pm-2pm “Poetics of Social Movements” led by Mónica Teresa Ortiz

In this workshop, we will discuss the powerful role that writing can play in social movements by examining Eduardo Galeano and a few others, as well as how writing can be implemented into groups with limited or no access to literary or cultural movements – such as the writing workshops I am co-facilitating on the Mexican side of the border with women factory workers. By analyzing how we can share spaces with nontraditional stories, we can prove a writers contribution is not only to literature, but also, to the society, culture, and struggles surrounding the writer.

Mónica Teresa Ortiz lives and writes in Austin, Texas. Her most recent work appears in Rebeldes: a Proyecto Latina Anthology, Huizache #3, and As Us literary journal.

Events for Friday, October 25th

Location: Black Box Theatre, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX

Reading : Flor De Nopal presents Huizache:The Magazine of Latino Literature…

Flor De Nopal will be celebrating the release of the 3rd issue of Huizache: The Magazine of Latino Literature, founded by Dagoberto Gilb, edited by Diana Lopez

About Huizache: “CentroVictoria at the University of Houston-Victoria is excited to announce its new literary magazine, Huizache, featuring poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The magazine’s title is inspired by the huizache tree, a Texas acacia as thorny and tenacious as it is both invisible and ubiquitous, unwanted by farmers. Like its namesake, the magazine will promote fierce beauty that has been ignored. The voices in this magazine are motivated, not silenced, by harsh, unwelcoming conditions.”

Featured Readers:

Tony Diaz                           Matt Mendez

Rene S. Perez II                      Carrie Fountain

Jesse Sendejas Jr.                   Deborah Jackson Taffa

Yaccaira Salvatierra                     ire’ne lara silva

Mónica Teresa Ortiz              Abel Salas

Liliana Valenzuela                 Ysabel Y. Gonzalez

Beverly F. Lowry                   Conrad Romo

Margaret Garcia                     Sylvana Flores Avila


Events for Friday, November 1st

Location: Resistencia Bookstore, 1801-A S. 1st St., Austin, TX

Reading: Day of the Dead Reading/Fundraiser for Flor De Nopal

Readers TBA


Events for Saturday, November 30th

Location: Raul R Salinas Classroom, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX

Writing Workshop 10am-12pm “Solo playmaking” led by Natalie Goodnow

We’ll explore a variety of approaches to generating material for solo performance – monologue, storytelling, poetry, and movement.

Natalie Goodnow is a nationally recognized theatre-maker, teaching artist, and activist from Austin, Texas.  She’s presented her solo play “Mud Offerings,” winner of the Jane Chambers Award for female playwrights and feminist performance texts, at festivals and conferences throughout Texas and in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.  She‘s taught with Creative Action since 2007, engaging young people in dialogue on critical social issues through the arts.  She is currently pursuing an MFA in Performance as Public Practice at the University of Texas at Austin.

Writing Workshop 12pm-2pm “Bridge Building/Border Crossing: The Poet as Nepantlera” led by John Fry

Poems enter us just as we enter them when we write. During the act of composition, we’re at once both builders of bridges and crossers of borders in a way that summons us body, mind, and soul. Following the writings of Gloria Anzaldúa, in this workshop we will explore how the act of writing poems allows for us to experience a state of being-in-between. She calls this state nepantla: a threshold state, or place, between supposed opposites like here and there, male and female, right and wrong, true and false, living and dead. Open to poets of all levels.

John Fry is the author the chapbook silt will swirl (NewBorder). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in American Letters & CommentaryThe Offending Adamalice blue reviewBoxcar Poetry ReviewConnotation PressFree VerseBellingham Review,Pebble Lake Review, and The Cresset, among others. A graduate of the MFA program at Texas State University-San Marcos, he edits poetry for Newfound and lives and teaches in San Antonio, Tejas.

Events for Friday, December 6th

Location: Multi-Purpose Room, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX

Flor De Nopal Literary Festival 2013 Reading featuring: Daniel Chacon, ire’ne lara silva, Natalie Goodnow, Lee Francis, Liza Wolff-Francis, Lisa Marie Estus, Mónica Teresa Ortiz, John Fry, and other writers TBA


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