Bards and Brew – A Potent Mix

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Freetail beer on tap at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference's Stroll on Houston Street in 2015.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Freetail beer on tap at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference's Stroll on Houston Street in 2015.

For centuries, bards have been reciting epic poems and refreshing their voices with brew, specifically beer, one of the most ancient of all libations. So it is fitting that Freetail Brewing Company is sponsoring Bards & Brew III, a gathering of some of the city’s best poets, at the Guadalupanita Patio, located at the corner of El Paso and South Brazos streets, Friday evening.

Poet Laureate of Texas and Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Literary Arts Director Laurie Ann Guerrero started Bards & Brew, a neighborhood party that features first-rate poetry and fine beer, in 2015.

“Our past events have featured Anthony “The Poet” Flores, Andrea “Vocab” SandersonOctavio Quintanilla, Natalia Treviño, Laura Van Prooyen, and Sheila Black,” Guerrero wrote in a press release.

bards-brew-iiiGuerrero said the Guadalupe aims to continue to extend the literary borders of San Antonio.

“This installment of Bards & Brew highlights the draw of our city to writers and performers who choose to make our city their own, and, I hope, provides one more space for them to feel at home when they do,” she said.

One of Friday’s featured poets is Jason “Shaggy” Gossard, a well-known and widely adored member of the poetry community.

Shaggy helped kick-start the first PuroSlam back in 1999 and has been running the weekly operations for more than a dozen years now. A national champion in the slam circuits, Shaggy promises to bring a diverse range of poetry to Bards & Brew III.

“I have three slots over the course of the event so it will be an eclectic mix,” he said. “It will be the kind of poetry appropriate for people drinking beer and enjoying themselves on a Friday night.”

Tony Polanco-Bethancourt, author of Verses from the Diaspora, will also be featured Friday. Polanco’s parents are from Panama and he was raised in Los Angeles, so he brings an international perspective to his poetry. A salient theme in his rhymes and this video, Polanco frequently speaks out for racial justice and rights for migrants.

He said he will read his most popular poem, Transnational Tears, at Friday’s gathering. “It’s based on a tale of family migration throughout the Americas and the Afro-Latino identity,” he said.

Amalia Ortiz – a Tejana writer, actress, educator, and activist – is the third poet in Friday’s line-up. She said she will be reading from her book, Rant. Chant. Chime.

“If time allows I would like to also read from my new manuscript,” Ortiz added. “That collection will be my second book titled The Canción Cannibal Cabaret. It is a more performative collection which I will be performing in its entirety next week at Palo Alto College as a part of their Native American and Latino heritage month.”

Anthony Flores, better known as “Anthony The Poet,” the master of ceremonies for VIVA Poesía, Música y Cultura in June, will emcee the event. Tickets are $10.00 and include an evening’s worth of Bards & Brew. Click here for more details.

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