Sunday, November 6, 2016

New Barrio Writers chapter breaks ground in San Marcos, Texas!

A message from Marilyse V. Figueroa,
the new Barrio Writers Program Director of San Marcos, TX:

As a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Creative Writing at Texas State University, I could often feel the division between academic space and local culture. After all of what being a part of Barrio Writers had shown me, such as connecting our youth with higher education, I was empowered to close that divide in San Marcos, Texas.

I wanted to bring about more relationships within creative writing, cultural arts, and higher education, the three foundations of Barrio Writers teachings, and how those key points relate to San Marcos youth. Breaking ground in San Marcos is so important because it is not just a “college town,” but a place of sacred springs and rich cultural history. Often this history is not taught or goes unknown to the youth whose families have lived here for generations, through the floods and the segregation, and are still here making the culture of San Marcos what it is today. Through the sponsorship of the Center for the Study of the Southwest, a perfect partner for BW, the San Marcos chapter will start in spring 2017 with a 10-week workshop resulting in a live reading and a publication of the participants in the annual Barrio Writers Anthology. By focusing on the San Marcos area and the region of the Southwest, San Marcos youth and youth in surrounding areas will be empowered by their history and the vibrant culture of this place. 

Barrio Writers has shown me the ties between higher education and creative writing are not for those who can afford it, but for anyone with the desire to participate. I’m honored to be the new Barrio Writers Program Director of San Marcos and the CSSW’s Barrio Writers Program Coordinator. 

The San Marcos chapter will begin meeting February 4th, 2017 from 12- 2 p.m. at the Centro Hispano Cultural de San Marcos. We will meet every Saturday until April 8th, 2017 in which there will be a live reading to celebrate the youth’s work. 

Registration starts now! Find the Register Now link on our homepage and join our workshop! (Bus passes are available upon request.)

Marilyse V. Figueroa
is a queer Latin@ who grew up hearing fairytales, myths, and her mother's cuentos from el campo. These inherited stories are the places she returns to write about the magic, light and dark, of este vida. Marilyse is currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing, but her main passion is her community activist / educator role with the youth in the South-Central Texas region. She is the Director of Barrio Writers in San Marcos, Tejas, a position supported by the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University. When she is not making, you can catch her at events in San Anto or Austin as she loves to be involved with and support women-lead, queer, and inclusive spaces for all ages. She has works published in St. Sucia Zine, Chiflad@ Zine, Ellx Blog, and forthcoming short works in Accentos Review and Gemini Ink. Her zine All My Ays was created as a safe space for her writing & is available at ResistencĂ­a Bookstore in Austin and at Libro Mobile in Santa Ana, California. Marilyse's debut collection of stories, Benevolent Altar, is forthcoming from Broken River Books. 

For more information on the San Marcos campus, contact

Follow Marilyse @marilysevfigueroa on tumblr