Robin Davidson & Tony Diaz

Robin Davidson is author of two poetry chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World, as well as a full collection, Luminous Other, which received the Ashland Poetry Press’s 2012 Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize. She is co-translator with Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska of The New Century: Poems from the Polish of Ewa Lipska, and is completing a second volume of translations of Lipska’s recent Droga pani Schubert (Dear Mrs. Schubert) poems. She has received, among other awards, a Fulbright professorship at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and a National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship. Davidson served as the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate for the City of Houston under the leadership of Mayors Annise Parker and Sylvester Turner, and was a finalist for Texas State Poet Laureate in 2017. She is a member of the artist-run, cooperative literary press Calypso Editions, and teaches literature and creative writing as professor of English for the University of Houston-Downtown.

Writer, activist, and professor Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, was the first Chicano to graduate from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. He holds an MFA in Fiction. He’s the author of the novel The Aztec Love God, and his essays have appeared in the Houston Chronicle, The Texas Observer, CNN.com, the Los Angeles Times, and The Huffington Post Latino Voices, among other publications. He is included in Hecho En Tejas: The Anthology of TEXAS MEXICAN Writers and Literary Houston. He recently launched the column “The Cultural Accelerator” to address issues that other publications don’t address in a unique style and point of view.  

In 1998, he founded the organization Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, to promote Latino literature and literacy. Nuestra Palabra has organized and conducted the largest book fairs in Houston, and created the Nuestra Palabra radio show. Through the NP MFA program, 14 Latinos have been inspired and guided to earn Master’s degrees in Writing.

Diaz made national and international news in 2012 by leading veteran members of Nuestra Palabra to organize a Librotraficante Caravan to smuggle contraband books into Arizona in defiance of the state’s Mexican American Studies ban. He has been a leading advocate for Mexican American Studies statewide, and was the lead writer and editor for the textbook The Mexican American Studies Toolkit. He is also an educational consultant for school districts implementing innovative curricula.   

Diaz is a political analyst on the show “What’s Your Point,” which airs on Fox 26 Houston. He also hosts the weekly bilingual radio program “Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say,” which covers Latino literature, art, and politics on KPFT 90.1 FM Houston.

 

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