516 WORDS: As/Us Indigenous & Latina Poets


516 WORDS: As/Us Indigenous & Latina Poets

Featuring Jessica Helen Lopez, Erika T. Wurth, Valerie Martinez, Cynthia Sylvester, Tanaya Winder


516 ARTS welcomes Indigenous and Latina poets to read poetry inspired by the Art at the Border: 21st Century Responses exhibition. These poets respond to mental, physical and geographical borders, with particular focus on the U.S./Mexico border. Come hear how experiences of defined spaces can change when rendered through art. This event is also a celebration of the one year anniversary of the literary journal As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, and is organized by Tanaya Winder, Editor-in-Chief.


Jessica Helen Lopez is a nationally recognized, award-winning poetry slam champion. Her first collection of poetry, Always Messing With Them Boys was published by West End Press.

Erika T. Wurth is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee and was raised outside of Denver. Her book Indian Trains was published by West End Press and she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University.

Valerie Martinez, poet laureate of Santa Fe from 2008-2010, is a poet, essayist, playwright, librettist, editor, educator, translator and collaborative artist.  For this event, she will read excerpts from Each and Her, winner of the 2011 Arizona Book Award and also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, as well as poems by fellow author and poet Michelle Otero, who cannot be at 516 ARTS in person for this event as planned.

Cynthia Sylvester was born in Albuquerque to the Kiyaa'anni Clan for the Biliganna Clan.  She was the recipient of the Native Writer Award at the 2012 Taos Summer Writer's Conference and her flash fictions have been published in multiple journals.

Tanaya Winder is an educator, poet, organizer and activist from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She as a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA in creative writing from UNM.


Special Thanks to Cuisine del Corazón, Chef Billy Brown.

Images (left to right): Jessica Helen Lopez, Erika T. Wurth, Valerie Martinez, Cynthia Sylvester, Tanaya Winder