Happy New Year, Tamale Hut friends!
It’s really mind-blowing to know that I’ve been hosting literary events here at Tamale Hut for five years already. The first time I walked in this place, the only thing on my mind was getting food. I had absolutely no idea that I was about to receive Jaime’s patented warm welcome – that I had stumbled into an environment that would soon begin to feel like a second home. I had no idea, but then I accepted Jaime’s friendly invitation to join his art reception and got to know him and his wife Lizet. I realized that I had discovered a special place and special people.
That’s when my vision hit. I saw an arts gathering of my own making, nothing too concrete – just a group of my writer friends filling these tables, eating tamales and telling stories, being nourished by both.
The fact that I’ve been able to take that vision and run with it thanks to Jaime’s support and encouragement, and now with Bernie’s help, is something that I am tremendously proud of.
Not only have I been able to honor my writer friends and writers I admire by giving them a vehicle for showcasing their work, but I’ve also had the great fortune of meeting writers and musicians and performers I might have never known. I’ve made meaningful connections. I’ve told my own stories. I’ve built a community where words matter. And not just matter, but take front and center stage.
I never imagined when I hosted our first reading in January 2007 that I had started something that would sustain itself as long as it has. I never anticipated that I would get as much back, if not more so, than I put in. I never dreamed that I would come to feel so valued, both as a writer and as an arts organizer.
But all of those things have happened. And THC Presents has now become something I look forward to, something I depend on. No matter what else is going on I know that I can walk in here and feel like I have a place, a purpose. Words cannot express how grateful I am for that and for all of you. But I’ll say thank you, all the same. Thank you and here’s to another five years of awesomeness.
Hope your holidays were bright and I wish you all a happy, healthful and productive New Year!
Artistic Director of Tamale Hut Cafe Presents Reading Series