U.S. Poets in Mexico was founded in 2008. For many years, I had traveled around Mexico. As a poet and artist, I suddenly realized that I had no knowledge of Mexico's contemporary poetry scene and set out to correct that fact. After extensive research, I realized Mexico's contemporary poetry scene was thriving in cities and town across the nation. Since I was quite sure I was not the only American poet who was unfamiliar with poetry by one of our nearest neighbors, I formed U.S. Poets in Mexico. Through USPiM, poets from both nations meet, discover each others' writing, share and explore collaborations. The annual USPiM conference provides intimate writing workshops where poets can meet, discuss craft and work closely on their writing with distinguished faculty. To further knowledge about Mexican culture and establish a sense of place for writers visiting Mexico, each year two group excursions to archaeological sites, ecological reserves and perhaps a museum are arranged.
Annually, USPiM brings distinguished American poets to Mexico to conduct
workshops. We also invite established and emerging Mexican poets from different regions of Mexico to give featured readings and/or conduct workshops. Translation collaborations between American and Mexican poets are encouraged. We invite a Mexican indigenous language poet to read at our festival each year. Our festival includes five evenings of poetry readings by our faculty, featured readers and participants - which are free and open to the public.
USPiM gives five Mexico Awards (scholarships) annually to poets in
each state in Mexico where we hold our workshops. Award recipients
participate free of charge, give readings and may participate in all other participant activities. Our Mexico Awards have greatly enhanced our program by connecting our program with poets and existing literary communities throughout Mexico. Our annual event has resulted in friendships, and collaborations between poets for translations, publishing, public readings and more.
Our Mérida Fellowship competition presents an award to one American poet (U.S. citizen) annually to
participate in all program activities tuition free and includes lodging for the week. The Mérida Fellow
provides a reading on the same evening as one of our faculty members.
Post-program readings by participants and faculty are occasionally arranged and expanding the readings to smaller cities in the U.S. will be a goal for our future. Our website, Facebook page and email newsletters keep poetry enthusiasts abreast of our events, residencies and highlight participant and faculty news. Visit our Event Archives section to get an overview of our previous events.
Our Translation and Writing Residencies in Mexico arrange for poets to reside in a colonial city in Mexico in order to work on translations of poems or create new work. Select Translation Residencies will be filmed as part of our ongoing film series, Two Voices and One Vision (dos voces y una visión).