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

January 18, 2018: Poetry Café Bellas Artes

Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018
Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m.

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

Admission: Suggested Donation $50 pesos

Poetic Voices: Past and Present

By Maia Williams

Poetry Café Bellas Artes will launch their third season on Thursday, January 18th by featuring three poets with California ties: Athea Marcos Amir, Bill Slusser, and Carolyn Studer.

Athea Marcos Amir
Athea Marcos Amir received a B.A. and M.A. in English and Language Arts and Literature from California State Universities at Northridge and Los Angeles, respectively. She published poetry and fiction in the literary magazines of her universities, opinion pieces and poetry in the San Francisco Chronicle, New Times of San Luis Obispo, and was paid a whopping thousand bucks for a short story in “Woman’s World.” Athea also wrote for Marilyn Ferguson, publisher of the Brain/Mind Bulletin and author of “The Aquarian Conspiracy” (1980); was a proofer for Denise Hearst’s “Arabian Horse World Magazine”; and has edited the work of several writers in San Miguel de Allende.

Bill Slusser
Bill Slusser has written screenplays, a stage play, poetry, and he has recorded a Spoken Word CD. Hailing from Los Angeles, Bill is new to San Miguel and delighted to be here.

Carolyn Studer
Carolyn Studer is a Presbyterian minister, activist, poet, and free-lance writer. She moved to San Miguel de Allende from Los Angeles in April of 2017. In addition to writing poetry, she is working on a memoir about her family’s involvement in the Civil Rights movement. She enjoys traveling in Mexico, and is grateful for the opportunity to share her travel pieces in Magazine San Miguel de Allende.


In Memoriam

Ten days before his death on January 2nd, local poet Jock Whitehouse enthusiastically accepted our invitation to present his remarkably original writings at our January Poetry Café. On the 18th, we will offer a brief tribute to Jock and his gentle poetic spirit.

In the foreword to Songs to Deborah, Jock Whitehouse writes that he and his wife Deborah met in this life when she was eight and he was nineteen. A seer told them they were once the same child.

Songs to Deborah is a poetic memorial of love that Whitehouse wrote as an invocation to grieve the loss of Deborah. Some of the poems focus on the utter aloneness that comes after the death of a partner. Others remind us that this kind of love never dies.


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. Depending on the temperature, a cold or hot beverage will be served.

January 11, 2018: Literary Sala Readings

Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018
Time: 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Location: Hotel de La Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio #15

Admission: $50 pesos for Literary Sala members, $100 for non-members. Complimentary Wine Reception. Tickets available at the door.

San Miguel’s Unsung Hero: Cossio del Pomar Plus The Story of a Jewish Immigrant

By Carole Schor

The first Literary Sala of 2018 presents two types of history: the story of Felipe Cossío del Pomar, founder of the art school at the Instituto Allende; and Bernard Beck’s own family memoir, One American Dream, A Family History.

Felipe Cossio del Pomar

The Instituto Allende is one of the most iconic landmarks in San Miguel de Allende. But how often do we walk by it without thinking about its history, how it came to define San Miguel, who started it and what secrets it holds. Felipe Cossío del Pomar was a Peruvian painter and left-wing political activist who was exiled from his country and came to San Miguel. He thought the town was the perfect spot for an art school, and in 1938, he founded one in what is now Bellas Artes. The school fell into the hands of incompetent leadership and closed, so in 1950, Pomar founded a second art school at the Instituto Allende, a university-level arts school that still remains active. Cossío del Pomar loved social gatherings and cultural reunions, and sent invitations to friends, writers and artists to come stay at his Rancho de Atascadero in San Miguel. The visits by extraordinary writers such as Pablo Neruda and Nobel Prize Laureate Gabriela Mistral are collected in Pomar’s memoir, Cossío del Pomar in San Miguel de Allende, translated into English by Maline Gilbert McCalla in 2007.

Pomar was a close friend of Stirling Dickinson, who co-founded the Instituto Allende with him. In some ways, Pomar is the true founder of the arts community that still thrives here in San Miguel. Many feel we should name a street after Pomar!

On January 11, we will see a short film about Pomar, created by Ezequiel Morones, and we will meet both Morones and Maline McCalla, the translator of Pomar’s memoir.

Bernard Beck

Bernard BeckBernard Beck, author of One American Dream: A Family History, is the story of a Jewish immigrant from Poland who arrives in New York City in the late 1800s, when many Jews were leaving Eastern Europe because of persecution and poverty.

With references to Jewish scholars from Hillel to Maimonides, to social and ceremonial distinctions between Orthodox and Reform Jews, and to Kabbalah, One American Dream chronicles the life of three generations as they make their way through the murky waters of immigration and assimilation. Jack Rubin, once Jacob Rubinowitz of Poland, finds that no matter how much he integrates into America and the middle class success he has been chasing, he feels like a failure. Only when he finds himself helping those less fortunate during the Great Depression does Jack realize that he’s been a real American all along.

Join us for a fascinating evening of books and history at the Literary Sala on January 11 at 5 PM at the Hotel La Aldea. Admission is $50 pesos for members and $100 pesos for non-members, including a wine and snack reception.

December 21, 2017: Poetry Café Bellas Artes

Date: Thursday, December 21, 2017
Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m.

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

Admission: Suggested Donation $50 pesos

San Miguel’s Poetry Café To Host “Open Mic”

By Maia Williams

Calling all poets! San Miguel de Allende’s Poetry Café Bellas Artes will end 2017 with an Open Mic on Thursday, December 21st, 5:00 – 6:00 PM.

Poets are asked to arrive at Sala Literaria at 4:30 PM to claim one of twelve time slots. Each poet may share up to three poems for a total presentation of four minutes or less.

First-time Open Mic Café presenters who arrive by 4:30 will be given priority.

Poetry Café Bellas Artes: Winona LInn

Winona Linn

Since it’s inaugural event in January of 2016, the Poetry Café has featured dozens of established and emerging poets from San Miguel de Allende and throughout Mexico, Canada, the United States, and France. We welcome members of the community and visitors to participate, as presenting poets and as members of the audience.

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.

Lemonade will be served. Seating is first come, first seated.