Writers and Poets

Erika Said at Hemisfair Park in San Antonio Texas

I set up a meeting with Erika Said in San Antonio’s Hemisfair Park to talk about her poetry and her cultural background. I first met her at South Texas College Pecan Campus in McAllen while she was covering an art exhibition for a newspaper story.

Erika is from Cuidad Madero Tamaulipas, Mexico. As a first generation Mexican American living in Texas, she hangs out with people from Latin America and Mexico, which makes her feel culturally at home.

Erika mentioned that she didn’t like the idea of mixing English with Spanish at first. However, that has slowly changed. As she spends more time in Texas she finds it interesting that both languages merge. Such phenomenon of mixing both languages has become part of her life in Texas.

I asked Erika, what she thinks about the term Mexican American. She replied that what comes to mind is people of Mexican descent who were born in the United States. In other words, second generation Mexican Americans. However, she was quick to admit that it’s a fine line. The definition of who is Mexican American can be a matter of debate.

Erika is well traveled when it comes to the Texas-Mexico border. She lived in Cuidad Juarez, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. She is inspired by border culture, music, and contemporary 21st century gadget terms. Hence, the title of her book, iPoems, which is mostly written in Spanish but incorporates words in English. The book is filled with quotes from a variety of singers and music bands ranging from Daft Punk and Regina Spektor to David Bowie and Billie Holiday.

I look forward to reading iPoems.

Writer and poet Erika Said

Erika Said holding her published poems iPoems. Hemisfair Park, San Antonio, Texas. March 21, 2014.

Writer and poet Erika Said

Erika Said holding her published poems iPoems. Hemisfair Park, San Antonio, Texas. March 21, 2014.

Writer and poet Erika Said

Erika Said at Hemisfair Park, San Antonio, Texas. March 21, 2014.

Writer and poet Erika Said

Erika Said at Hemisfair Park, San Antonio, Texas. March 21, 2014.

Writer and poet Erika Said

Erika Said at Hemisfair Park, San Antonio, Texas. March 21, 2014.

Writer and poet Erika Said

Erika Said at Hemisfair Park, San Antonio, Texas. March 21, 2014.

Eduardo Martinez blogs about Culture in the Rio Grande Valley

Eduardo Martinez writes about conjunto muisic, Mexican-American culture, wrestling, history of the Rio Grande Valley among other topics in his cultural blog. The blog has a witty name that features the name of the City of Pharr. It’s Pharr from Heaven at http://pharrfromheaven.blogspot.com/

The blog presents visitors with a wealth of information on Mexican American culture in the Rio Grande Valley.

Eduardo Martinez Rio Grande Valley historian

Eduardo Martinez blogs about Mexican American history in the Rio Grande Valley. Photographed at his house in Pharr, Texas on Jan 18, 2014.

Eduardo Martinez Rio Grande Valley historian

Eduardo Martinez blogs about Mexican American history in the Rio Grande Valley. Photographed at his house in Pharr, Texas on Jan 18, 2014.

Eduardo Martinez Rio Grande Valley historian

Eduardo Martinez blogs about Mexican American history in the Rio Grande Valley. He stands in front of the Valley Fruit Company building, a well-known landmark in Pharr, Texas. Photo from Jan 18, 2014.