Los niños también son poetas/CHILDREN ARE POETS TOO

Redbeardedguy - Posted on 28 September 2010

Thornton Kimes

Part One:  Who, What, Where, Why?

After several years of traveling between the U.S. and El Salvador, and much experience with American poetry festivals, Salvadorian poet and children’s author Jorge Tetl Argueta decided it was time for El Salvador to have a poetry festival.  Not just any poetry festival—a children’s poetry festival. 

Argueta, who teamed up with poets Francisco X. Alarcon, Margarita Robleda, Rene Colato Lainez, Ana Ferrufino, Jackie Mendez, and Jeannette “Lil Milagro” Martinez-Cornejo (plus Manlio Argueta, Director of the National Library of El Salvador, and other people in and outside El Salvador) wanted to do this because “…there is a lot of violence in El Salvador – our hopes are that this festival will give children and young adults the opportunity to express themselves creatively on the issue of living in peace and their dreams for a positive future.”
Two years of workshops and other efforts with adults and children led to organizing efforts in Amerikkka as well, at least one event happening recently in San Francisco.  The First Annual Children’s Poetry Festival in El Salvador kicks off November, 2010.

Part Two:  Set It Off!

My first reaction to stumbling across this news, other than wondering how POORmagazine could help shout from the rooftops about this event:  I wanted to encourage people around the world to do the same thing. 

Mothers and children are in the crosshairs of governments, shadow governments, and wanna-be governments everywhere—fighting for power, drug turf, or whatever else the people with something want that the poor, who have nothing but each other, don’t have.  I have heard stories of POORmagazine’s superbabymamaz—Tiny, Vivian, Jewnbug, Queennandi and others. 

Ingrid DeLeon regularly rips my heart and lungs out when she talks about her children south of the border, and her life here.  Vivian Hain’s daughter Jasmine teenage is a POOR Press poet/author, and other POOR youth skolahs have been creative too.  Vivian is too good at eulogizing the father of her other two daughters.  I never want to see her do it for a child.

Poor children know a lot--lack of food and clean water, crappy or no education, bullets, bombs, the other endless details of their lives.  I don’t want to know.  I need to know.  We all do.  Stay tuned.  We’ll be doing something.  I hope you will too.



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