WIC Writers

Sonya Barrera Eddy

Sonya is an author and teacher who resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her family. She has published flash fiction in the Sagebrush Review and San Antonio Current’s Flash Fiction Blog. She is the former Fiction Editor of The Thing Itself, a literary journal, and is currently the Editor of the Sagebrush Review. Sonya taught seventh grade English at Heritage Middle School before receiving a fellowship to attend UTSA, where she is currently a Ph.D. student and teaches writing classes.

Cris Bazaldua

Cris graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) with a Bachelor’s in English in 2011 and received a Masters of Arts in Administration in 2013. While working as a graduate assistant at UIW Cris worked in academic and professional development as well as the editing, reviewing and researching of writing assignments and projects of the graduate and doctoral student body. He is currently working on a series of iBook-based children stories with Raining Popcorn Media.

Alan CarlAlan Stewart Carl

Alan is a writer of fiction and essays. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and his work has appeared in Mid-American Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, The Collagist, and elsewhere. He lives in San Antonio with his family.

robert cavazosRobert Cavazos

Robert is a senior at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) and is majoring in English and government. He has published poetry, fiction, and photography in UIW’s literary arts journal, Quirk. He is also a writing tutor and Cardinal Community Leader, and is a recipient of the UIW English Department’s Dr. Jo LeCoeur Award for Poetry. He enjoys traveling as well as spending time with his family and friends, reading, writing poetry and fiction, playing guitar, singing, and listening to his record collection.

Erica De La Rosa

Erica is a co-founding member of the Mahina Movement Performance Troupe and Production Company in New York City. She has has shared over 300 stages with legends like Amiri Baraka, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Deepak Chopra, Tony Kushner and more. A native from San Antonio, De La Rosa holds a degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her work has been published in Words, Beats & Hip Hop Life Journal (2004).

Amanda Flores2Amanda Flores

Amanda studied at Trinity University, where she earned her degree in English and Creative Writing. She has represented San Antonio for seven consecutive years at the National Poetry Slam competition, and has performed all over the nation, including West Palm Beach, FL; St. Paul, MN; Madison, WI; Oneonta, NY; Charlotte, NC; and Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. She holds the titles of the 2011 & 2012 Grand Slam Poetry Champion of San Antonio, 2014 Grand Slam champion of San Francisco, and has had the honor of being crowned 2013 & 2014’s La Voz of San Antonio in San Antonio’s city-wide spoken word poetry competition. She is currently the creative writing instructor for Bihl Haus Art’s GO! Arts program and also administers workshops throughout the city both independently and as part of Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities program. Her performances have been featured on Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital channel, the KABB FOX and WOAI Morning Shows, KENS 5 Great Day Sunday show, and KSAT 12’s Instant Replay sports segment during the 2013 NBA Western Conference semifinals.

Antoinette V. Franklin

Antoinette is a sixth generation Texan, began writing at the age of six. She is an English as a Second Language Instructor at Lackland AFB, and is President of the Friends of the Carver Library. She has published fifteen books of poetry, short stories and essays, and is co-author of A Legacy to Leave Our Youth : Autobiography of John ‘’Mule’’ Miles. She received an Honorable Mention from Writer’s Digest in 2009 and is managing editor for Impressive Jewels Cultural Magazine.

Xavier Garza

Xavier is an author, artist, and storyteller whose work focuses on his experiences growing up in the small border town of Rio Grande City. He published his first book, Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys (Arte Publico Press), in 2004. Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask was released in Spring 2005 and quickly became a hit among children and lucha libre fans. Lucha Libre won an Honor Book, Américas Award and a starred review from Críticas Magazine. Xavier has exhibited his art and performed his stories throughout Texas, Arizona and the state of Washington. He lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife Irma and their son Vincent.

Dexter Gilford

Formerly a practicing attorney of nearly 20 years, Dexter returned to graduate school in 2012 to pursue his passion for reading and writing fiction and poetry. He will graduate from Our Lady of the Lake University in the fall with an M.A. in English.  Dexter currently teaches criminal law and criminal justice at San Antonio College.  He is currently working on a collection of short stories, a cycle of poetry, and a collection of essays on race–all of which have been “in progress” for far too long.

xelena gonzalezXelena González

Xelena has conducted creative writing workshops over the past 11 years, visiting varied spaces: a juvenile detention center, a senior citizen center, a chapel, a homeless shelter, a home for teen parents, a Chinese university, a retreat space, and countless classrooms. She finds that no matter the setting, every writer has the potential to find their inner voice. She has worked as a food reviewer, columnist, reporter, travel writer, poetry editor, and essayist. In 2009, González was invited to become a judge for the Young Pegasus Poetry contest which led to a new career path with the San Antonio Public Library, where she specializes in early literacy and community outreach.

Jim LaVilla-Havelin.Jim LaVilla-Havelin

Jim is the Coordinator of National Poetry Month in San Antonio, the Poetry Editor for the San Antonio Express-News, and author of four books of poetry. The most recent, Counting, was published by Pecan Grove Press in 2010. LaVilla-Havelin retired from his position as Director of Young Artist Programs at the Southwest School of Art in 2013 to devote his time to teaching and writing. He teaches in Gemini Ink’s Camp INK!, Writers in Communities, and Creative Writing Classes programs, as well as in Bihl Haus’ Golden Arts Programs for senior citizens.

Diamond MasonDiamond Mason

Diamond is a founding member of San Antonio’s first and only Youth Slam (FreshInk), a co-founding member of The Blah Blah Blah Poetry Spot, has represented San Antonio in three consecutive National Poetry Slams, the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and various other local/regional slams including Southwest Shootout, SlamBowl, and The Bayou City Grand Slam. She studied for a short time at George Mason University, and is currently an administrative assistant and after-school teacher in San Antonio. Mason also facilitates weekly after-school writing workshops at a local elementary through Gemini ink.

Regina Moya

Regina was born in Mexico City and graduated with a degree in Communications from Anahuac del Sur University. She has also studied graphic design and journalism, and currently belongs to the first generation of the Mexican Novel Laboratory. Moya has two published novels—Memorias de Dos Mujeres Mexicanas (México City, D.F., Editorial Atomo), Donde Anidan las Palomas (México, D.F., Casa Juan Pablos); and two children’s storybooks—The Counting Machine (Deutsche Bank), and The Gift of Water (Kaluz Foundation). Moya has taught several workshops for teens, children and adults through Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities program as both a writer-in-residence, and as an artist-in-residence. She lives in San Antonio with her husband and their three children.

Ben V. Olguín

Ben is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He earned his PhD from Stanford University in 1996. His specialization is U.S. Latina/o literatures and popular culture, mulit-ethnic literatures of the United States, Latin American literature, literary and cultural theory. Olguín has published two books—Cantos de Adolescencia/ Songs of Youth: 1932-1937 (Arte Publico Press, 2007) and La Pinta: Chicana/o Prisoner Literature, Culture, and Politics (University of Texas Press, 2010). He is the author of two collections of poetry currently under review, and is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop.

Barbara Perez

Barbara earned her MFA at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her poems have recently appeared in Poetry, Smartish Pace, The Lumberyard, Ploughshares, and American Letters & Commentary. She is twice the recipient of the Harold F. Taylor Prize from the Academy of American Poets and has earned scholarships for study at the NY Summer Writers Institute and the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan. She currently teaches literature, creative writing, and composition at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas.

Kamala PlattKamala Platt

Kamala is an artist, educator, independent scholar and author in South Texas and at The Meadowlark Center in Kansas. Publications include Weedslovers (Finishing Line, 2014), On the Line (Wings Press, 2010), and Kinientos, (compiler, Wordsworth, 1992). She holds an MFA in poetry, an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts, and a PhD in Comparative Literature. Her current scholarship shares women’s environmental justice poetics creating a lens through which to approach climate justice.

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 7.39.11 AMBárbara Renaud González

Bárbara is a freelance writer, journalist and activist. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, The Los Angeles Times and more, and her commentaries have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, and LatinoUSA. González is a recipient of the Inter-American Press Association Opinion prize, has been a finalist for six Katies in radio commentary and print. Her book, Golondrina, Why Did You Leave Me?, was published in 2009 by UT Press, under the Chicana Matters imprint. González’s most recent publication is an interactive children’s book, The Boy Made of Lightning, based on the boyhood of Willie C. Velásquez, founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. She resides in San Antonio, Texas.

vocabAndrea Sanderson

Andrea, aka Vocab, has been a poet, singer, hip hop & spoken word artist since 2001. She discovered her call to performance art and poetry in 1999 when she joined the hip hop group L.S.C. Ministries. She is widely published, and has performed at numerous venues and universities including Moorehous College, Rice University, San Antonio’s 19th Annual International Women’s Day March, churches, art galleries, auditoriums, and has shared the stage with Next, Invincible, and the Mojoe Family Band. Vocab currently co-hosts 2nd Verse, an open mic poetry venue in San Antonio that was voted Best in the Nation two consecutive years in a row (2012-2011) by the National Poetry Awards. She also co-hosts Fresh Ink Youth Poetry Slam Open Mic, the only under 21 poetry venue in San Antonio.

Frances Santos

Frances was first published by Pecan Grove Press in 1999 in a chapbook, Mama and Other Tragedies. That same year, she was a fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanites for integrating U.S. Latino Literature in the secondary classroom. She is a recipient of the 2000 Premio Poesia Tejana Award for The Laughter of Doves, published by Wings Press. In 2001 she received a grant from the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation and in 2007 she published her second book of poetry, Cayetana.  In 2012 her poem, “She is Breathing,” about the death of her mother, appeared in the Texas Observer. And like her mother before her, Frances Santos has proudly taught English for over twenty years in the San Antonio Independent School District, and continues to do so today.

Brian SlaughterBrian Slaughter

Brian earned his MA in American literature from the University of New Mexico. He studied creative writing and women and gender studies at University of Texas San Antonio. His poetry and artwork have appeared in The Sagebrush Review. Brian has been an active musician in San Antonio since the early 2000’s.

Manuel Solis

Manuel is an independent journalist and film programmer based in San Antonio. He is a longtime contributor to the San Antonio Current, and his writing has appeared nationally in Hispanic, Wax Poetics, and XXL magazines. He is a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota where he was awarded fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Along his life journey, he has built wells in the Congo, screened films for kids in the Catskill Mountains, and enjoys covering the NBA with his 10-year-old son Mizael by his side.

Viktoria Valenzuela

Viktoria has a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing from The State University of New York. In 2013 she hosted San Antonio’s Citywide Spoken Word Poetry Contest, La Voz, and hosts 100 Thousand Poets for Change events. Her work has been published in The Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social Journal, La Bloga, and Being Latino Magazine.

Laura Van ProoyenLaura Van Prooyen

Laura has more than 15 years experience teaching poetry and writing in a variety of academic settings at the university and high school level, and currently works as an instructor for Gemini Ink. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press 2006) and Our House Was on Fire, awarded the McGovern Prize (Ashland Poetry Press 2015). Her work has also been featured in The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and The Southern Review, among others. Raised in a tight-knit Dutch community outside of Chicago, she now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

ybanez mysa1Terry Ybañez

Terry is a painter and printmaker whose exhibited in numerous places throughout the Americas, including at the University of Mexico (Mexico City) and the Galería de la Raza (San Francisco). She is a muralist and a children’s book illustrator. Her work can be seen in Carmen Tafolla’s book That’s Not Fair! / No es justo!: Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia (Wings Press, 2008), and in Hairs/Pelitos (Dragonfly Books, 1994) by Sandra Cisneros. Ybañez holds degrees in Studio Art and in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies. She teaches art in the San Antonio Independent School District.