About a year ago, one of the earliest signs for working artists that we were living in a changed world was the almost wholesale cancellation of San Antonio’s usually overflowing calendar of National Poetry Month events. One of the few exceptions was URBAN-15’s Mega Corazón, a marathon broadcast of South Texas spoken word that survived by virtue of its already-online format.
Still, even Mega Corazón had to scramble to figure out how to film readings without bringing poets physically into URBAN-15’s online broadcast studio, and the solution it came up with was to have poets record themselves reading and then stitch these recordings together into a pastiche of nonstop poesis. While rougher around the edges, these little poetry home videos—shot from living rooms and on cell phones—in many ways had a poignancy and intimacy unmatched by the more polished production of previous years.
Because of our work on Deceleration and general technolust, Greg has accumulated a lot of video equipment, and so we had a lot of lockdown fun last year putting together some poetry videos for Mega Corazón—so much so that I was excited to do it again this year, even though we also had the option of shooting a live set in-studio. Honestly, I don’t know why there aren’t more non-narrative types of televisual entertainment. If music video was at one time a massive global phenomenon, why not a YouTube channel or Netflix series devoted to poetry video? Not everyone would be into it, but some weirdos would be. And think of the chapbooks it could sell!
Here, for instance, are a couple of my favorite pieces from last year’s show:
All that’s to say: watch this year’s Mega Corazón on Monday, April 5! It’ll air online free of charge from URBAN-15’s website, with a student-focused segment running 10am-1pm and another segment from 6-10pm for poetry lovers broadly. The whole thing will be rebroadcast MWF throughout National Poetry Month on U-15’s Facebook page, so if you miss it on the 5th, not to worry.
Tune in!! I’ll be unveiling some new literary video, along with performances by some massively talented poets I still can’t quite believe I get to read alongside.