Meet the Peoples Poetry Fest Committee

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, 2021-2022 Corpus Christi Poet Laureate. His books: Pearl (FlowerSong Press 2020), American History (Slough Press, 2017), co-edited Stone Renga (Tail Feather, 2017) with Snake Woman Moon forthcoming (El Grito del Lobo Press). Current writing in Writing Texas, Corpus Christi Writers, Concho River Review, and Odes and Elegies: Eco-Poetry from the Texas Gulf Coast. Murphy is Langdon Review’s 2021 Writer-In-Residence.
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Robin Carstensen

Robin Carstensen’s poetry manuscript, In the Temple of Shining Mercy received the annual first-place award by Iron Horse Literary Press and was published in 2017.  Her poems are forthcoming or recently published inQueer in the New Century, from Jacar Press: A Community-Active Literary Press; Odes and Elegies: Eco-Poetry from the Texas Gulf Coast, Lamar University Press; Good Cop/Bad Cop: An Anthology; Dreaming: A Tribute To Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, FlowerSong Press, FlowerSong Press, and many more. She directs the creative writing program at TAMU-CC where she is faculty advisor for Windward Review: Literary Journal of the South Texas Coastal Bend, and co-founding, senior editor for Switchgrass Review: Literary Journal of Health and Transformation.

Chuck Etheridge

A self-proclaimed desert rat, Chuck Etheridge was raised in El Paso, Texas. After a stint in the US Navy keeping the coast of Southern California safe from the threat of enemy invasion, he attended the University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Christian University. In addition to his time in the service, he has worked as an actor, a convenience store clerk, a Rent-a-Poet, and a catalog copy writer before finding respectable employment as an English teacher, first at McMurry University and, later, at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. His poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction have been published in a variety of reviews and anthologized in a number of books, and he has written two plays that have been produced. His first two novels,Border Canto and The Desert After Rain, were published by Fine Tooth Press. A motion picture based on his Border Canto Trilogy is in development. His comic novel Chagford Revisited was just published in the UK and is available in the States on Amazon.
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Juan Manuel Pérez

Juan Manuel Pérez, a Mexican-American poet of indigenous descent and a Poet Laureate for Corpus Christi, Texas (2019-2020), is the author of several books of poetry including, SCREW THE WALL! AND OTHER BROWN PEOPLE POEMS (FlowerSong Books, 2020). The award-winning poet, history teacher, and Pushcart Nominee, is also a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and the Military Writers Society of America. Juan worships his Creator and chases chupacabras in the South Texas Coastal Bend Area.

Malia A. Perez, Ed.D.

Malia A. Perez is a poet and novelist. She is working on a second collection of poetry titled, If Tombstones Could Talk, and a fictional memoir, I Married A Mexican. She is a poet historian capturing poetry events through the lens since the early 2000s. She holds a Doctorate degree in Educational and Teacher Leadership (2013) and has taught for more than 20 years in public education wearing many hats. She has been a featured reader at Del Mar College and enjoys reading, writing, photography, and spending time with her family.

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Alan Berecka

Alan Berecka

Alan Berecka earns his keep as a librarian at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Four collections of his poetry have been published. His work has appeared in such journals as Texas Review, The Concho River Review, The Windward Review and The San Antonio Express. From 2017-2019, he served as the first Poet Laureate of Corpus Christi.

William Mays

William Mays moderator. Mays is a writer/photographer. He and his wife own Mays Publishing which produces paperback, hardback, e-books, and audio books. is an online literary magazine that is updated daily. Mays edits and publishes the Corpus Christi Writers series.

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Joshua Hamilton

Joshua Hamilton is a Louisville, KY native who migrated to Corpus Christi with his family: artist Leticia Bajuyo, daughter, and their rickety but sweet cat, Walnut. Between Kentucky and Texas, he prowled the halls of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, hitchhiked in the west of Ireland, kayaked Appalachian rivers, and sweltered in the tropical heat of Panama City, Panamá. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English and Humanities and his Master’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Louisville, and in 2013 he completed his doctorate in Spanish (with a minor in American Literature) with Indiana University. Joshua’s field of research focuses on Visual Poetry from the late Franco dictatorship (1960s – 1970s). His first chapbook, Slow Wind, was published with Finishing Line Press. His current chapbook Rain Minnows [Notecards and Poems] is available through Gnashing Teeth Publishing.

Rossy Lima DePadilla

Rossy Evelin Lima (August 18, 1986 Veracruz Mexico), holds a PhD in linguistics and is an international award-winning poet. Her work has been published in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies in Spain, Italy, UK, Canada, United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. She received the Poet of the Year Award by The Americas Poetry Festival of New York (NY, 2018), the Premio Internazionale di Poesia La Finestra Eterea award (Milan, Italy, 2017), the International Latino Book Award (USA, 2016), the Premio Orgullo Fronterizo Mexicano award by the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (USA, 2016), the Premio Internazionale di Poesia Altino award (Venice, Italy, 2015), and the National Gabriela Mistral Award by the National Hispanic Honor Society (USA, 2010), among others. She is the president and founder of the Latin American Foundation for the Arts, the founder of the International Latin American Poetry Festival (FeIPoL), as well as the founder of Jade Publishing. In 2015, she was invited to speak at TEDxMcallen to talk about her experience as an immigrant writer in the U.S. In 2020, her poetry book Aguacamino/Waterpath was translated to Serbian and published in Belgrade.

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Dylan Lopez

Dylan Lopez is a senior at TAMUCC pursuing a degree in English. A graduate from Richard King High School, Dylan was introduced to Creative Writing by his high school mentor, Joseph Wilson; who published Dylan in his final edition of King’s literary magazine, Open All Night. A recipient of the Robb Jackson Poetry Award, during his freshman-year at TAMUCC, Dylan was featured twice by the Island Waves student newspaper, and published in Corpus Christi Writers 2019 by Mays Publishing. In 2020, Dylan was featured in Trinity University’s High Noon literary journal, and again in Corpus Christi Writers 2020. His writing explores the themes of love, depression, and internal struggles in fantastic, mythical, and sometimes drearily realistic settings. Aside from being a full-time student of writing, Dylan is also currently the Managing Editor of The Windward Review.


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Javier Villarreal

Javier Villarreal holds a BA and MA in Spanish from Pan American University, Edinburg, and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. His major fields of interests are Languages in Contact (Spanish and English), Mexican American Folklore, poetry, and photography. His works have been published by numerous academic and literary journals and anthologies. Javier retired from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2015. He resides in Corpus Christi with his family, where he writes, practices photography and promotes cultural events in South Texas.  

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Sara Kaplan

Sara Kaplan received her M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Idaho, and she also holds degrees from Miami University and Sweet Briar College.  Her chapbooks includeMoon Talk and Touring West of the Mississippi. Published interviews with notable poets are on Poetry Daily and in Conversations with Natasha Trethewey. Her poems appear in the following journals, and several poems were nominated for The Pushcart Prize: TheAntioch Review, Harpur Palate, LIT 9, The Cincinnati Review, Talking River Review, The Meadow, InLand, Ruminate, The New Vilna Review, decomP magazine, Failbetter, Splash of Red, MO: Writings from the River, & Gulf Islands Review. As an Associate Professor of English at Del Mar College, she specializes in teaching Poetry and British Literature.

Karen Cline-Tardiff

Karen Cline-Tardiff has been writing since she could hold a pen. She writes poetry, flash fiction, personal essays, short stories, and grant requests. Karen also edits for a small group of friends. She has been published in a variety of online and print outlets. She was born in Texas, lived a little bit of everywhere, and now resides on the Texas Gulf Coast. When she can’t find poetry somewhere, she puts it there.

She is the founder of the Aransas County Poetry Society, which hosts a monthly open mic. She started the Poems on the Go project in Aransas County. She is the Founder/Editor-n-Chief of Gnashing Teeth Publishing.

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Stefan Sencerz

Stefan Sencerz

Stefan Sencerz born in in Warsaw, Poland, came to the United States to study philosophy and Zen Buddhism. He teaches philosophy, Western and Eastern, at the Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. He has numerous publications in professional philosophy journals as well as several refereed poems that appeared in various nationally distributed poetry journals. He has been active on a spoken-word scene winning the slam-masters poetry slam in conjunction with the National Poetry Slam in Madison Wisconsin, in 2008, as well as several slams in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Chicago.

Zoe Ramos

Zoe Ramos is a poet and Engl graduate student at TAMUCC. As an interdisciplinary researcher, they use poetry as a means of exploring questions regarding reality and philosophy. Their work often relates to contemporary physics, religion, loneliness, and the human mind’s apparent subservience to language. They value the fluidity of genre and also make visual/ handwritten poetry and practice spoken word. In using poetry as both a personal and public analysis, their hope is to bring greater status to poetry as a form of research, and also to encourage all people to engage with “scientific” and existential questions. Their corollary approach to creative writing admits- it may be that divisions such as “science” and “art” are superficial & in order to address some of nature’s biggest questions, these boundaries must be mentally subverted. They are the Senior Editor of the local national journal, Windward Review ( Find them IG @TheBookofZER

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Susan Wolff Murphy

Susan Wolff Murphy (PhD, Texas A&M University, 2001) is Professor of English and Associate Dean. She co-edited Bordered Writers: Latinx Identities and Literacy Practices at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (2019) and Teaching Writing with Latino/a Students: Lessons Learned at Hispanic Serving Institutions (2007), both published by SUNY Press. She has published articles in Writing Center Journal, Journal of Border Educational Research, and other publications.

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Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, TX 78412