Emmy Pérez is the 2020 Texas Poet Laureate and the author of two books, With the River on Our Face and Solstice. A professor at The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, she has taught poetry in social justice projects and in adult and juvenile detention centers. Pérez is also a founding member of Poets Against Walls. Among her honors are the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award and the James D. Phelan Award. Raised in Santa Ana, California, Pérez is Xicana and has lived on the Texas-Mexico border since 2000. Her parents and grandparents lived in the Texas and California borderlands for many years.
Poetry & Planet is produced by Ethan Goffman. Maria Meléndez Kelson’s “Aullido” is read by Elizabeth Bruce and “Remedio” is read by R. Michael Oliver. Musical excerpts from “Elements of Life” and “Earth Revisited” are written and performed by Reginald Cyntje, with vocals by Christie Dashiell. Aural interludes are by Douglas Harvey.
The opening poetry chorus is voiced by Jomo K. Johnson, Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram, Marianne Szlyk, and R. Michael Oliver.
Photo of Emmy Perez by Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
“Remedio” and “Aullido” from How Long She’ll Last in This World by Maria Melendez. © 2006 Maria Melendez. Reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press.
From With the River on Our Face by Emmy Pérez. ©2016 The Arizona Board of Regents. By permission of the University of Arizona Press.