Writers in Communities

The Writers in Communities (WIC) program sends published, professional writers into schools, institutions, and other community settings to work alongside students of all ages and abilities. While in residence, the writers and their students create dynamic creative writing projects that challenge, celebrate, inspire and enlighten. Our innovative programs have been recognized by The New York Times and San Antonio Express-News, among others.

WIC hires working writers who are also excellent teachers of writing. By providing ongoing support and professional development to our WIC instructors, we build a strong sense of teamwork among WIC faculty—encouraging them to share their challenges, discoveries and best practices. We also provide them with the opportunity to study with nationally known writers such as Denise Chavez, Barbara Jane Reyes, Laura Kasischke, Robert Flynn and others. The end result is that WIC workshops are always of high artistic quality, making them highly effective at promoting a lifelong engagement with reading and writing.

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16 SA Youth.kindred


3822527016_1a5a2b779f_mof the rolling pin

hitting the counter

as Grandma made tortillas.

Every day.

A Mexican alarm clock.


I would find myself getting up

to go for a walk, and before

I would leave she would say,


“Juanito, cálmala y trucha este dia.”

Juan be careful and

calm today.

But it did not ever stick.

I did what I did and never split.


I had to sell that tecato his last fix.

That’s what keeps the light meter from getting stuck.

And the gabachititos from getting hit.


My home boys would tell me, “Estás loco.”

But I really did not care because before I did anything—

This is what I would say,

“Perdóname, Señor Jesus.”

And then go about

my day.


From the WIC anthology Words Across the Wire (2013)

Photo courtesy of Stacy Spensley


family monkeyMy monkey to be,

He talks to me, by

Kicking and punching

And taking jabs at me.

We communicate daily

With simple motions,

Knowing he’s okay in

Mommy’s little ocean,

Me, trying to sleep while

He’s awake, I know

Inside he’s trying to


All day he sleeps, but

For an hour or two

My little monkey

Just wants to meet

Me too.


From the WIC anthology A Wondering Mind (2015)

Photo courtesy of Eric Kilby


StainI wouldn’t mind being my couch.

All green, lumpy, soft, warm,

And you could drown in me if you felt like it.

I have little lines all over me,

They are essential,

Like the hair on a girl or fingers on an artist.

People have tried to cover me,

To change me,

From green to blue

Or from blue to white.

But they always fail

Because I will remain green.

I’m what helps people relax

And not worry

Or stand around,

Unsure of what to do next.

A place where people can crowd together,

Not caring about personal space,

Drinks spilled,

Food dropped.

But it’s okay

Because these stains are memories

Memories of a little girl

Who tried to cover up spilled nail polish

With a cheap cotton blanket.

Tears clouded her eyes

Making them shine

Like soft diamonds made of water.

She couldn’t bear to let her mom see,

Couldn’t bear to see anger or disappointment in

her eyes.

But she couldn’t bear to let her mother find out by herself.

So she told her,

Her voice thick while she chokes on tears.


Her mom doesn’t get angry

Or disappointed.

She looks sad.

As if she is sad that her daughter was scared of her.

She got up and embraced her daughter.

Told her that she could tell her anything,

That it’s just a couch.

And kissed her on the forehead.

Every time I look at that smeared nail polish,

Or that cheap blanket,

I can’t help but smile


From the WIC anthology The Moon Towards Me (2012)

Photo courtesy of Vavva_92