The story behind the poetry of Texas poet Jason Z Guest.
Poetry began as a personal writing exercise during my Latin American travels – one rooted in protest.
Why? Well, it offered an outlet to counter the tiresome rhetoric that so often reduces travel copy – something that I have witnessed both in publishing and travel writing.
Poetry became my vehicle of choice for authentic storytelling.
As a Texas poet, my work is rooted in adventure and discovery and tends to focus on themes of travel, nature, and culture, illuminating the beauty, brokenness, passion, landscapes, people, places and events, all delivered in a spirited voice.
In 2017 I was honored with my first-ever presentation of work at the International Literary and Art Festival of Santa Ana in El Salvador (FIALSA) and recognized by the Association of Journalists of El Salvador. Quite the surprise, this opened doors to a handful of wonderful relationships with poets throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including Canary Islands, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Spain.
By good fortune, I was also welcomed into Poetry Machine, a weekly literary exercise led by Austin musician and artist Bob Schneider.
Later this same year I launched Wild Words, a newsletter with the simple idea of delivering one handwritten poem each week to e-mail subscribers.
In October of 2018, poetry took me to South America, into the birthplace of Latin America's first Nobel laureate, Gabriela Mistral, by invitation of the Society of Writers of Chile (SECH), Gabriela Mistral Branch, Coquimbo Region. Here I presented my poetry during the XXI Meeting of the World of Culture of 2018, across the Valle de Elqui in locations around Coquimbo, La Serena, Pisco Elqui and Paihuano, Chile. I participated not only as the first Texas poet, but as the first American invited by SECH.
In 2019 poetry will take me into Colombia and Argentina. I will also publish my first book of poetry, a bilingual edition reflecting upon my travels throughout El Salvador.