The Bihl Haus will be chock full of poetry and art, so bring chalk (or use some of ours) and a short poem (or make one up on the spot) to chalk on our wall this coming Friday evening, September 26, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, when we celebrate “Cinco de VIA,” five years of VIA’s “Poetry on the Move” program.  We’ll also launch VIA’s new book, also titled Cinco de VIA ($10); many of the 100+ poets and artists will be on hand to autograph it. The evening includes poolside Flamenco by duo Toro Flores on marimba and Michael Garza on guitar, plus antojitos y limonada o sangria.

The “Cinco de VIA” exhibit features all 100 “Poetry on the Move” placards of juried poems and artworks displayed on VIA buses during poetry month in April over the past five years.  Included are poems by San Antonio literati Mobi Warren, Cyra Dumitru and Tom Keene, among others, as well as poems by winners of San Antonio Public Library’s annual “Young Pegasus” competition.  Accompanying juried illustrations were produced by San Antonio teens enrolled in youth art programs across the City, including Henry Ford Academy, Say Si, San Anto Cultural Arts, J.T. Brackenridge High School, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and Edgewood Fine Arts Academy.  In addition literary jurors were invited to submit a poem and select an illustration by a local artist to accompany it: Carmen Tafolla’s In Defense of Tamales (see below) pairs with Thelma Muraida’s Tamal. Past jurors have included Texas Poet Laureate Rosemary Catacalos, Pablo Miguel Martinez, Carol Coffee Reposa, Vincent Toro, Martha K. Grant, Ignacio Magaloni and Ben Tremillo. The project was brought to VIA and has been overseen for the past five years by San Antonio poet and educator Jim LaVilla-Havelin.  The evening also includes announcement of the “Poetry on the Move” contest for 2015.
In Defense of Tamales, by Carmen Tafolla

After nine days on a New Age fast, cleansing the evils of innocence
I proudly, rebelliously, voraciously, consumed a tamal
savoring the political statement on my tongue like a century of spices
rolling the corn-based cultural affirmation in my mouth like masa
The sensual sting of the red chile of my soul’s survival
slipped through my lips like the luxuries of Moctezuma’s banquet
Eight thousand years of heritage avenged, my stomach at last filled
with the warmth of golden treasure, at the kitchen table of home

The exhibition continues through October 4.  Gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 1-4 pm, or by appointment.  The “Cinco de VIA” book ($10) will be available for purchase at Bihl Haus during the opening, and thereafter at The Twig.