Texas Border Business
EDINBURG, Texas — The Museum of South Texas History will host the Sunday Speaker Series Online panel, “From the Margins: Poetics of Memory and Place,” featuring Dr. Margo Tamez, César L. de León and Emmy Pérez at 2 p.m. on May 30 on Facebook Live.
The panelists will share their poetry and its influences on personal, family and cultural histories from the borderlands, and a poet’s role in chronicling perspectives from South Texas history and the tradition of relaying these narratives. Panelists will also discuss the impact of their poetry on addressing the border wall in the Rio Grande Valley, which has been a topic for more than a decade. The panel seeks to place a spotlight on knowledge and experiences from the margins—migrations, exiles and journeys—centered for the audience.
De León is one of four poet-organizers for Poets Against Walls, a grass-roots collective of poets and educators dedicated to centering and elevating work by Borderland writers, artists and activists affected by borders and divisions of all kinds. His work has appeared in Queen Mob’s Tea House, Pilgrimage, The Acentos Review, La Bloga, and the anthologies Pulse/Pulso:In Remembrance of Orlando, Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands, Dreaming: A Tribute to Selena Quintanilla-Perez among others. de León’s first collection of poems “speaking with grackles by soapberry trees” is forthcoming from FlowerSong press in the spring of 2021. You can find more of de León’s work through his website: cesarldeleon.com.
Pérez, Texas Poet Laureate 2020, is the author of “With the River on Our Face” and “Solstice.” A volume of her new and selected works is forthcoming. She holds a Poets Laureate Fellowship with the Academy of American Poets, serves as Consulting-Artist-in-Residence with UT San Antonio’s Just Futures grant, and is professor of Creative Writing and Associate Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at UTRGV. In 2017, she co-founded the Poets Against Walls collective. For the past 21 years she has lived in Texas—from El Paso, where she has family roots, and now the RGV.
Tamez is a Ndé Dene [Lipan Apache] poet and historian. Through poetry, Tamez addresses settler mytho-history, and Indigeneity embedded in and erased by Texas as a process of ongoing colonization. Her work confronts genocide denialism as an “unholstered gun” that weaponizes anti-Indigenous, anti-Black and anti-Mexican racism as the way settlers’ celebrate place-making in Texas. She draws directly from family history, oral tradition and archives to render radically different understandings of her Dene, Comanche, Nahua, Jumano, and Mexican-Indigenous ancestors who survived Texas, and who continue to challenge the Texas dispossession of Indigenous peoples. Her new collection, FATHER | GENOCIDE, is forthcoming from Turtle Point Press in August 2021. She is a faculty member in Indigenous Studies and the MFA Poetry programs at the University of British Columbia (Kelowna, BC, Canada), unceded and ancestral Syilx territory.
This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.
About Museum of South Texas History
The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003, following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit MOSTHistory.org, like us on Facebook and Instagram, follow on Twitter, find on YouTube or call +1-956-383-6911.