San Miguel Literary Sala - San Miguel Literary Sala, A.C. is a non-profit organization in Mexico

December 8, 2016: Literary Sala Readings

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2016
Time: 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Location: Hotel Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio #15

Admission: $50 pesos for Literary Sala members, $100 for non-members. Includes wine reception. Tickets available at the door.

Inspired Teachers of Children and Adults
Frank Thoms and Margaret Nash

By Carole Schor

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.

— Malala Yousafzai, World’s Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

Frank Thoms

Frank ThomsIn this world of troubling times, we look to the next generations to give us hope.  Hope begins in the classroom where children are taught to think, to learn, and to use the gift of education to make the world a better place. For many people in the world today, education is a given, a gift that enables them to see the world as a place of opportunity and inspiration. For others in the world, education is an unrealized dream, a brass ring that is ungrabbable, unreachable. Even for the privileged few for whom education is a given, the truth is there are too few teachers, and even fewer great teachers who inspire hope in students and the world.  Frank Thoms is one of the great teachers whose passion and purpose in life is to teach teachers to be the light that can bring about the great changes possible in the world.

Frank is the author of several books on teaching, his latest being Exciting Classrooms: Practical Information to Ensure Student Success. Frank has been an innovative teacher who has encouraged colleagues, students, parents, and teachers to make changes that will allow all students to succeed. In his latest book, Frank urges all to step up to our rapidly changing world and use the technological advances available today to restructure teaching methods, to take advantage of our media-driven culture, and use it to teach and inspire digitally-wired students. Thoms sees the teaching process as a joint venture between teacher and student where the teacher brings learning to the student and, at the same time, brings the student to the learning. This process demands at least as much listening as talking, a new habit that teachers and principals need to learn.

Margaret Nash

Margaret NashLearning never has to stop. No matter what our age may be, there are still opportunities for growing and learning and improving our lives. Margaret Nash is a life coach and hypnotherapist who brings thirty years of experience to her new book, Rebellious Aging. She calls it a guide for “old hippies” to take control of the later years of their lives and make them productive and purposeful. As an old hippie herself, Margaret had many years of wild living before she settled down to home, family, and career, only to find herself on the other side with one marriage down and one still going strong, children now grown up and on their own, and the end of her successful career, leaving her wondering if there is something missing,  or something more.

She writes of her own experience in crafting a “Hero’s Journey” for the second half of her life and counsels readers to do the same. Find your purpose and soul by taking steps to ensure you will live your later years still embracing your old hippie ideals—adapting them to your new age, to the present world, and to whatever opportunities and possibilities might come your way. Evaluate where you are today honestly. Let go of whatever it is that might be holding you back. Retain what is working for you and what you might treasure from the past. Face your fears, even the fear of growing older. Give up negative emotions, limiting beliefs or bad habits that might be keeping you stuck. Learn your personal Archetypes and look to them for guidance and help. Keep asking yourself questions about what you really desire. Create your perfect life no matter what your old story may be. Manifest the best possible life – it’s never too late!

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No, it’s never too late to begin again. And with excellent teachers like Frank Thoms and Margaret Nash, there will always be a new chance, for youngsters or oldsters. Come and hear them share their wisdom at the December 8 Literary Sala at the Hotel La Aldea on the Ancha at 5 PM. Admission is 50 pesos for members of the Sala and 100 pesos for non-members and includes a complimentary wine reception.

Membership in the Literary Sala supports ­not only the literary life of San Miguel including scholarships for teens and reading projects for children in the campo, it also offers attractive benefits like reading groups, discounts at the monthly author readings, as well as discounts and priority seating at the Annual Writers’ Conference. A Membership Table will be available at the Sala event. It is also possible to obtain information and join online at

November 17, 2016: Poetry Café Bellas Artes

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2016
Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m.

Location: Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante”
Hernández Macías 75
Sala Literaria, 1st Floor

Admission: A donation of $50 pesos is suggested

Global Citizens Roberts, Cervantes, Kalu Jacobson to Headline Poetry Café

By Maia Williams

Poetry Café Bellas Artes will feature three poets from around the globe with ties to San Miguel de Allende on Thursday, November 17th: Carolyn (Cazz) Roberts, James Cervantes, and Uchechi Kalu Jacobson.

Carolyn RobertsCarolyn Roberts was born in Sydney, Australia. She writes fiction and non-fiction and poetry. She is currently writing a novel about an Australian family. She also writes children’s stories about Australian animals and her Mexican dogs. She was Chief Assistant Editor to Eva Hunter at SOL: ENGLISH WRITING IN MEXICO online literary magazine 2011 to 2015 and in her spare time she tends a small organic greenhouse at the back of the family farm.

James CervantesJames Cervantes’s latest book is From Mr. Bondo’s Unshared Life, a series of closely related persona poems. Sleepwalker’s Songs: New & Selected Poems, published in 2012, is comprised of 32 new poems and poems selected from six previous collections. Other books include Temporary Meaning, The Headlong Future, The Year Is Approaching Snow, and Changing The Subject, a dialogue in poems with Halvard Johnson. He was editor of The Salt River Review for thirteen years and is currently Foreign Correspondent for Hinchas de Poesia. He is the editor of In Like Company: The Porch & Salt River Review Anthology, published by Mad Hat Press. Cervantes has been publishing poetry in print since 1969 and almost exclusively online since 1997.

Once upon a time, he could truthfully claim to be a professional musician, a cellist, as a matter of fact, and performed with the United States Air Force Orchestra’s Strolling Strings at the White House for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. There were many other less exciting gigs.

Cervantes’s varied past also includes work as a psychiatric aide at a private mental institution, a stint as a late night, jazz dj, a near-death experience in 1970, and teaching English and writing at several colleges and universities. He studied at the University of Washington with David Waggoner, Mark Strand, and Richard Hugo, and earned his MFA at the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, where he studied with Donald Justice, Marvin Bell, and Norman Dubie.

Uchechi Kalu JacobsonUchechi Kalu Jacobson is a published poet, UX web designer and technology entrepreneur. Uchechi attended University of California, Berkeley, where she was mentored by the late poet June Jordan. In 2006, she published Flowers Blooming Against A Bruised Gray Sky, her first full-length book published by Whit Press. The collection was hailed as “strong as an African orchid” by poet Ruth Forman, and nominated for a Northern California Book Award. Her second collection, Resembling the Sea, is awaiting publication. Poet Sam Hamill praises the collection of poems: “In these poems of love and family, the simplest language becomes increasingly luminous as the word, the syllable, the vowel, rises into intense lyricism, revealing Uchechi Kalu’s passionate spirit and large-hearted enthusiasm for living and dreaming. Modest in their ambition and bold in their telling, these are ultimately praises and prayers to the present, a gift for which I am grateful.”

Nigerian-born, Uchechi currently alternates residences in New Orleans and San Miguel de Allende, and is the CEO of Linking Arts, a full service web design and development agency she co-owns with her husband.

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Poetry Café Bellas Artes meets monthly, September through April, to feature local and visiting poets (established and emerging) sharing original work in a casual setting.

Please arrive a few minutes early. Seating is first come, first seated. Depending on the season, a cold or hot beverage will be served.

November 10, 2016: Literary Sala Readings

Date: Thursday, November 10, 2016
Time: 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Location: Hotel Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio #15

Admission: $50 pesos for Literary Sala members, $100 for non-members. Includes wine reception. Tickets available at the door.

An Actor and an Agitator tell Tales In and Out of School

By Carole Schor

On November 10, join us for a different kind of Literary Sala adventure. We’ll hear stories performed and also hear a fictional tale about an historic San Franciso Bay Area event. We will also launch this year’s San Miguel Big Read at this event.

Mick Diener

Mick DienerWe are excited to present one of San Miguel’s most beloved actors, Mick Diener, who will be performing stories by some of the world’s greatest authors. Coming on the heels of our famous Storytelling Festival, Mick will present several short stories that are certain to entertain. Who can forget these famous words, which we probably all heard at the kitchen table, huddled around a radio where we, as a family, gathered together to hear stories of suspense, thrills and love:

“Out of the clear blue of the western sky, comes Sky King.”
“Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. With a cloud of dust and a hearty hi-ho Silver. It’s the Lone Ranger.”
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”

These famous lines opened some of the most well known and most loved radio dramas. Mick Diener got his start on radio back in his college days, and he’s never lost his love for the art of the spoken story, which thrilled us long before TV and the Internet.

Mick is a well-known member of the San Miguel acting community. After a long hiatus from acting and a move to San Miguel, three years ago he stumbled into an opportunity to star in a Playreaders event. He’s since appeared in many Playreaders plays, and has also played a variety of roles at the Players Workshop, including the upcoming Driving Miss Daisy. Mick is an ad man who came to it naturally as the son of a Don Draper-type advertising executive. He has been, and still is, in the business of infomercials starring the likes of Victoria Principal and Cindy Crawford.

Henry Hitz

Henry HitzHenry Hitz, hails from the San Francisco Bay Area and has written his own story of a fabled time in the City by the Bay: White Knight: or How One Man Came To Believe That He Was The One Who Caused The San Francisco City Hall Killings And The Jonestown Massacre. A bit of autobiography, a bit of made up fiction, Henry’s story chronicles the time when Dan White, then City Councilman, was enlisted to help save a childcare center in one of the most troubled inner city projects in SF. Henry, who actually lived in the housing project and directed the child care center there, weaves together the political power plays happening in the school and housing projects with the story of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, one maniacal man’s answer to the scourge of poverty and crime in the ghetto. Fires and drugs and political shenanigans all combined to foment a revolution in the projects, a revolution that sent some to jail, some to sex and orgies, and some to suicide in Guyana. It was a revolution that ended with the deranged “Twinkie-provoked” assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978, just days after over 900 people literally “drank the Kool-Aid” and killed themselves.

Henry spent 15 years organizing parents in the Oakland Public Schools, attempting to foster human connections between them, knitting the fabric of the new society. He’s written five novels, a memoir, a screenplay, and many stories based on the fact and fiction of his own experience.

Big Read Launch Event

On Trails, An Exploration by Robert MoorAt the November 10 Literary Sala event, we will also initiate the 2016-17 San Miguel Big Read. The book featured for the Big Read this year is On Trails by Robert Moor. “An incredibly engaging page-turner of a book,” says one reviewer. At this meeting, the book will be available for purchase, and it will be possible to register for a Big Read Book Discussion group. If you would like to join a Big Read discussion group and are not able to attend this Sala event, you may e-mail Jo Curtis at

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Join us for what is certain to be an interesting evening of tales on November 10 at 5 PM at the Hotel La Aldea on the Ancha. Admission is 50 pesos for members of the Literary Sala and 100 pesos for non-members, including a wine and snack reception. Membership in the Literary Sala supports ­not only the literary life of San Miguel including scholarships for teens and reading projects for children in the campo, it also offers attractive benefits like reading groups, discounts at the monthly author readings, as well as discounts and priority seating at the Annual Writers’ Conference. A Membership Table will be available at the Sala event.