Celebrate National Poetry Month with award-winning poets

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circlesBy Pam Paz


National Poetry Month was started in April 1996 by the Academy of American Poets.

In honor of National Poetry Month, Celebration Circle, a local nonprofit organization that promotes spirituality and creativity, will host “Voices, Vibes and Visions” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 600 HemisFair Park.

“I think it’s really good to be part of National Poetry Month and bring awareness to the people who create words in our community,” co-founder and executive director Zet Baer said in an interview April 2.

The event will showcase four award-winning South Texas poets: Lahab Assef Al-Jundi, Amanda Flores, Sheila Black and John Philip Santos.

Rudi Harst, spiritual director and founder of Celebration Circle, will provide live music with the Circle Band combined with poetry readings.

Visual artists also will create live, improvisational works of art based on the readings.

“What’s different about this is that it’s so multidisciplinary; the words are the focus, but we’re involving visual artists and musicians to interact and play with those words and their interpretation of those words,” Baer said. “There will be some communal creation happening.”

Santos is a San Antonio native who has been awarded the Academy of American Poets’ Prize at Notre Dame, among other awards.

Baer said the other poets would read their works first, and he will close the show.

Celebration Circle was founded in 1992 with about 75 members.

Today, it reaches an average of 5,500 individuals each month, Baer said.

This is the first time the organization will host a community event, though the group has had workshops.

The organization meets weekly for prayer, Sunday gatherings, children’s circle and Wednesday meditation. The group has monthly Shantikar meditation and semiannual retreats.

Depending on how successful the turnout is, the plan is to continue this event annually, Baer said.

Admission is a $10 donation. For more information, visit celebrationcircle.org.


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