Writers in Communities

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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 Juan Felipe Herrera, Denise Chavez, 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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You walk around looking upshoe

but truly feeling down.

You don’t know how to

handle life right now.

You look left, then right,

but neither way’s bright.


People judge you ‘cause of

how you handle life.

You tell them they ain’t lived

this life,

And haven’t paid

the price.


How about you try

walking in my shoes,

then tell me how to handle

my life?


From the WIC anthology Words Across the Wire (2013)

Photo courtesy of Gonzalo Salas


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