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

Jan. 30, Feb. 9, & Feb 13 2017: Poetry Alive!

Video Montage
Date: Monday, Jan. 30, 2017
Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m.

Location: Centro Culturál Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante”, Hernández Macías 75, Auditorium, 2nd Floor

Suggested Donation $50 pesos

Reading Billy Collins (Bilingual!)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017
Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m.

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

Free Admission

Video Montage, Second Screening
Date: Monday, Feb. 13, 2017
Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m.

Location: Centro Culturál Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante”, Hernández Macías 75, Auditorium, 2nd Floor

Suggested Donation $50 pesos

Poetry Alive! Celebrates Billy Collins

By Maia Williams

Billy Collins (Photo by Bill Hayes)

Billy Collins (Photo by Bill Hayes)

To commemorate the first anniversary of San Miguel’s popular reading series, Poetry Café Bellas Artes, two special events are planned in anticipation of the February 16th appearance of Billy Collins as a keynote speaker at the 2017 San Miguel Writers’ Conference. Mr. Collins, one of the world’s most beloved poets (and funniest), served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001–2003.

Published in September of 2016, The Rain in Portugal is his twelfth collection offering nearly fifty new poems that showcase the generosity and imaginative play that prompted The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to call him “America’s favorite poet.”

Billy Collins Video Montage, Monday, January 30:

Two Poetry Café board members, Lee Harris and Sallie Kravetz, have collaborated to produce a compelling video montage that will highlight the unique and often humorous perspectives of Mr. Collins.

Reading Billy Collins, Thursday, February 9:

Several local poets will read a sampling of their favorite poems by Mr. Collins. This presentation will illustrate the amazing breadth and depth of his body of work and will be conducted in both English and Spanish.

Tickets to Billy Collins keynote address are currently sold out. Tickets may be available for purchase the day of the event (arrive early). His address begins at 6:30 PM in the ballroom at Hotel Real de Minas. Details:

Founded in January of 2016, Poetry Café Bellas Artes meets monthly, September through April. The all-volunteer community organization features 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.

January 26, 2017: Jerelle Kraus and David Lida

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017
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.
Complimentary Wine Reception

Hard-Hitting Views Of The News, The World And Mexico

By Carole Schor

The San Miguel Literary Sala is thrilled to present a Special Event on January 26 featuring an encore presentation by two of the most interesting writers visiting in San Miguel.

Jerelle Kraus

Jerelle KrausJerelle Kraus, former Op-Ed Page Art Director for the New York Times, returns to regale us with more entertaining stories of how the page developed into a worldwide phenomenon eagerly read and anticipated by readers everywhere. The Op-Ed page filled a gap by offering readers a broader perspective of the news than they receive from the journalists at the paper. Kraus, the longest art director with a record thirteen years to her credit, will showcase the drawings, sketches, and cartoons that complemented pieces on the Op-Ed page, pieces from controversial figures such as Spiro Agnew, Arthur Miller, Phillip Roth and Arthur Schlesinger.

Jerelle Kraus’s life has been one of innovation, charisma, entertainment and illustration. She hung out with Leonard Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel and fought against the censorship of illustrations of and by the likes of Henry Kissinger and Andy Warhol. She’s had her ear and eye on the most fascinating stories in New York City and will be talking about the New York media and how it is handling the most current stories of the day, including stories of the incoming administration and how it will affect the media and our rights under the First Amendment. According to a recent interview with New York Times editor Dean Baquet, Trump’s remarks about the press and the First Amendment are disquieting. “First off, the things he has said about the press in general are troublesome,” Baquet said. “He has said things that should make all journalists nervous about his view of the First Amendment, about his view of a press that’s supposed to ask him tough questions. So that makes me nervous.” Jerelle is nervous too and will share her experience, knowledge and nervousness with us in what is sure to be an eye-opening talk!

David Lida

David Lida

David Lida has been a blogger and journalist in Mexico City for almost twenty years. His first book, First Stop in the New World was a “street-level panorama of Mexico City, the largest metropolis in the western hemisphere and the cultural capital of the Spanish-speaking world.” As a journalist, Lida “expertly captures the kaleidoscopic nature of life in a city defined by pleasure and danger, ecstatic joy and appalling tragedy, a city hanging in limbo between the developed and underdeveloped worlds.” (Amazon).

Besides being one of the best chroniclers of the true, and sometimes, gritty side of Mexico City, David has been a mitigation specialist for almost ten years, working with lawyers in the U.S. who defend undocumented Mexicans who are in jail facing capital murder charges and, as such, the death penalty. His research takes him to the clients in jail, as well as their families, friends, and colleagues, as he puts together the stories of their lives, which are often filled with poverty, violence, abuse, neglect and mental illness. Lida’s investigations can be an important tool for the defense to negotiate something lighter than death with the prosecution. He has been on teams that have saved more than twenty lives.

“With this work I have seen the places in Mexico — ranchos, pueblos, deserted cities — where the most desperate Mexicans try to survive,” Lida says. “I have also gotten to know communities on the outskirts of towns and cities in the US where people live in the shadows, unable to hold their heads up high and enjoy the rights of citizens. I like to think that, in its sympathetic portrait of undocumented Mexicans dealing with a corrupt criminal justice system in the US, my book, One Life: A Novel, is the other side of the coin that got Trump elected, as he painted them as criminals and rapists.”

“Mexico is crucial to my writing process, and has given me material for four books.” All of Lida’s books have received high praise from papers like the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. One of his books was selected as one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle.

This special event is not to be missed! Join us on January 26 at 5 PM at the Hotel La Aldea. Admission is $50 pesos for Literary Sala Members and $100 pesos for non-members, including a complimentary wine reception.

Membership in the Literary Sala of San Miguel supports the literary life of San Miguel including scholarships for teens and reading projects for children in the campo communities, as well as offering many attractive benefits including book groups like The Big Read featuring Robert Moor’s On Trails; discounts at the monthly readings as well as discounts and priority seating at the annual Writers’ Conference. Literary Sala Membership and Writers’ Conference tickets may be purchased at this special event.