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From Haiku Death Matches to Fruit Punch: An Evening with Kendra Allen, Laura Castoro & Eddie Vega, followed by a Community Open Mic

June 15, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm CDT


Join Gemini Ink on Thursday, June 15th, for a night of poetry, prose and literary celebration as we partner with our friends at Poetic Republic Cafe to create an inviting space for the writing community to share words, wine, and wisdom, with a little latte or espresso on the side.

Get ready to be inspired by a fun and feisty lineup of writers who can take on anything from riveting memoir and coming-of-age stories to South Texas poetry with its own zest. The evening kicks off with a special reading by Kendra Allen, Laura Castoro, and Eddie Vega – three Gemini Ink Teaching Artists who are all making waves in the literary world.

Following the featured reading, we will host a community open mic. Bring your poems, stories, and thoughts to share (there will be a 3-minute limit for each reader). Open mic sign-up in person, starting at 6pm.

About the Readers

An award-winning essayist and poet, Kendra Allen was born and raised in Dallas, TX. She loves laughing, leaving, and writing Make Love in My Car, a music column for Southwest Review. Some of her other work can be found in The Paris Review, High Times, The Rumpus, and more. She’s the author of the New York Times lauded poetry collection The Collection Plate (Harper Collins 2022) and essay collection When You Learn the Alphabet, which won the 2018 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction. Fruit Punch (Ecco 2022), her memoir, is out now and receiving praise from all corners. Jaquira Díaz, author of Ordinary Girls, states: A stunning and original memoir about Black girlhood and coming of age. Allen is both storyteller and poet, observing the world with curiosity and humor. Fruit Punch is simultaneously brilliant cultural commentary and an intimate portrayal of family and community, and it will stay with me for a long, long time.”

Laura Castoro, a USA Today, Amazon top 100, and Apple Books bestseller, has published 47 novels with major publishing houses such as Dell Books, Berkley, Avon, Warner, MIRA, Harlequin, Kensington, Pocketbooks, St, Harper Collins, Martins Press, and William Morrow. She has also contributed to several fiction anthologies and has published non-fiction YA and short fiction in Good Housekeeping. Under the name Laura Parker, she writes historical and contemporary romance, westerns, and sagas. As Laura Castoro, she writes contemporary African American and contemporary women’s fiction. Writing as D. D. Ayres, she publishes a romantic suspense series called the K-9 Rescue Series. Her current release as Laura Castoro is Love On The Line (2021) through William Morrow. Laura has won multiple national writing awards. In 2005 she was inducted into the Arkansas Writers’ Hall of Fame. She is a speaker at numerous conferences and workshops in the U.S. and abroad.

Eddie Vega is a poet, spoken word artist, storyteller, and educator. His poetry has been displayed on VIA Buses and downtown San Antonio buildings. His first full-length collection of poetry, Chicharra Chorus (FlowerSong Press) was published in 2019 and he is the 2021 recipient of the Literary Arts Grant from the Luminaria Artist Foundation. In 2022, Vega won the Haiku Death Match at both the Southern Fried Poetry Slam and the NSFPS BlackBerry Peach Slam. His latest project is a collection of poems written by South Texas poets entitled, Asina is How We Talk. 



June 15, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm CDT
Event Category:


Poetic Republic Coffee Co.
2330 S. Presa St
San Antonio, Texas United States
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Mandy Lynn Lara