Keynote Speaker: Alejandro Murguía

We are pleased to have Poet Alejandro Murguía as our Keynote Speaker at San José Poetry Festival on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at History San José, CA. He will read at the Markham House porch from 11:00 a.m.–11:50 a.m.

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Alejandro Murguía is the Sixth San Francisco Poet Laureate and the first Latino poet to hold the position. He is a professor in Latina Latino Studies at San Francisco State University and the author of the short story “The Other Barrio” which first appeared in the anthology San Francisco Noir and recently filmed in the street of the Mission District. Based on “The Other Barrio,” this San Francisco independent film, is about a man from the neighborhood wrongfully accused of arson. “I have nostalgia for the future,” he says.

In poetry he has published Stray Poems, and a new collection Native Tongue. His other works include, Southern Front and This War Called Love (both winners of the American Book Award). His non-fiction book The Medicine of Memory highlights the Mission District in the 1970s during the Nicaraguan Solidarity movement.

Alejandro  Murguía is a founding member and the first director of The Mission Cultural Center, and the founder of The Roque Dalton Cultural Brigade. He has co-edited Volcán: Poetry From Central America.

Quoting from the SFGate, “A poet, literary organizer, editor, professor and community activist, Murguía finds inspiration in the forgotten indigenous Chicano history of California, writing about the Ramaytush who once lived in the Mission District. His work weaves in the 20th century heroes of the Spanish Civil War, as well as today’s characters found walking the streets and riding the Muni trains. . . . He is more than a poet, being an activist with a social conscience and a great voice to express it,” said poet and City Lights co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of many people who nominated Murguía.”

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Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle

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