The San Marcos Poetry Scene

todayApril 2, 2023 37 5

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Local Music Journalist

On any given weekend in San Marcos, there are a lot of choices when it comes to how one might decide to spend their time. You could float the river, mosey around the square for a drink, or enjoy some music at one of the many San Marcos bars and clubs. One lesser-known option might be the various poetry slams or performances that happen in the area; often intimate and radiating, an underground vibe you won’t need a password to get in, though some of these events are certainly off the beaten path.

The first time I witnessed slam poetry was at an event here in San Marcos. The event was a concert in support of Proposition A, which was a local ballot initiative that aimed to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis.

As a result, the poetry performed was powerful and cut RIGHT through to the heart of so many issues that local politicians seemed to just dance around; that was one of the first times I witnessed the power of spoken word. I had been a fan of hip-hop for years, and while I knew it to be a vehicle for protest dissent and counterculture, I had never seen it laid so bare before.

When I say these events are off the beaten path, the last thing I would want people to think is that they are somehow exclusive or unwelcoming. These groups of people and organizers have been such a joy to know and do such important work that I know would welcome any eventgoer with open arms.

Of course, one can hardly have a conversation about poetry without acknowledging the burgeoning hip-hop scene we have in the area as well. Multiple artists from many backgrounds, including some locals, have popped up in the area, showcasing talent ranging from talk styles reminiscent of Annette Peacock or Sun Ra, all the way to hard-core beats echoing suicideboyz’ style that’s taken off since the late twenty-teens.

This cornucopia of styles and influences has come to make the central Texas hip-hop scene something of an anomaly.

We’re lucky enough to have our own sources of prose close to San Macros! The Porter House is in Kyle and is a great location to catch speakers and authors. There are also several open mics in the area, such as Wake the Dead Coffee. In addition to these live options, we have the Porter House review, which is a publication of the MFA program here at Texas State that highlights prose and poetry.

I encourage you to check out these artists and one of these events for yourself. I personally took a long time to get into hip-hop concerts and poetry slams, but now that I have, I just can’t look back.

Poetry and rap changed my mind from being something untouchable and far away, to something homegrown and right in Infront of me center stage. If you find yourself a fan of prose or music in general the talent exhibited by San Marcos’ own poets.

Featured Image from Elizabeth, Production Director

Written by: Amaya Lewis

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