As part of the Creative Writing Reading Series, journalist and author Belinda Acosta will perform a reading Friday, Jan. 21.The reading will take place on the first floor of the Business building, in room 2.06.04 at 7:30 p.m. This is the first reading of the semester; the second will take place in February. The Creative Writing Reading Series is a committee sponsored by the Writing Program.

“The Reading Series was born in 1983 when we invited a poet to read on a Friday,” committee member and English professor Wendy Barker said. “Everyone said, ‘this is crazy, nobody would come on a Friday afternoon.'”

The turnout was large enough that the program began receiving funding.

“This is when UTSA was a commuter campus, it was basically four buildings,” Barker said. “Instead [of low turnout], we had a hundred enthusiastic people. And then we realized we had a need for this. There was a real interest in having visiting writers come to campus.”

Since the first performance, the program has grown considerably. It now has funding enough to pay authors to read.

“My pie in the sky hope is that we can not only continue the Reading Series with three or four visiting writers a year, buyt that we can also begin to attract a writer who could come for three or four days and work with students’ manuscripts,” Barker said.

Acosta is the author of two novels, “Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz” (2009) and “Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over” (2010). She has been published in the Austin America-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, the San Antonio Express, the San Antonio Current and in the news magazine, AlterNet.

Acosta is a Macondo Foundation writer, an “association of socially-engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community.” The organization can be found at macondofoundation.org, and was started in 1998 by Sandra Cisneros. Acosta was recommended for the reading by the foundation.

“It’s always nice to be recommended for something,” Acosta said. “And it’s nice to meet readers. A lot of writers kind of blanch at reading in public, but it’s actually something I enjoy doing.”

Acosta did a theatrical version of the “The Legend of La Llorona” in 1993.

“Earlier in life I was a performer, I did theatre, so performing in public is not a problem,” Acosta said.

The Macondo Foundation co-sponsored the event.

“It’s a wonderful foundation in town,” Barker said. “I especially value the fact that we can work together with the Macondo Foundation in sponsoring their writers.”

The next two dates for the Creative Writing Series are Feb. 25 and April 15. Keep reading the Paisano for updates on future events! 

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