3 poets aligned side by side with a predominant orange & brown theme to attire and hair

New Voice Series: featuring Meliza Bañales, with Carlos Quinteros III and Hilary Cruz Mejia

Thursday, May 11, 2023
Event Time 07:00 p.m. - 08:30 p.m. PT
Cost Free and open to the public
Location The Poetry Center, Humanities 512, San Francisco State University
Contact Email poetry@sfsu.edu


  • Mask requested for in-person attendance
  • Tune in to the video livestream

The Poetry Center presents the New Voice Series, in its third annual iteration. The series features a poet alum of SF State, in combination with a current SF State Creative Writing graduate student poet, and an undergraduate student poet at SF State, each reading their work and engaging in conversation with each other and the audience. For this year's event, Meliza Bañales will appear as featured poet, along with Carlos Quinteros III and Hilary Cruz Mejia. Participants in the series are selected by Poetry Center student staff. Please join us!

Meliza Bañales (aka Missy Fuego) is an author, advocate, and adventurer. They are originally from Los Angeles, where she grew up the youngest of four children to a Mexican-American father and a Scottish-Dutch mother. She was a fixture in the Spoken-Word, Slam, & Queer artist communities of the SF Bay Area from 1996-2011, touring with Sister Spit and Body Heat. She competed on three national poetry slam teams (98, 99, & 02) and was Grand Slam Champion in 2002. Her short films have appeared at Frameline and Outfest, and she was the inaugural winner of the Jury Award at the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival in 2011. They served as a Lecturer of Literature and Creative Writing at UC San Diego from 2015-2020. She was a 2016 Lambda Literary Finalist for Best LGBTQ Debut Fiction for their novel Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific. Their work has been anthologized in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe since 1997 and has been featured on NPR, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Lodestar Quarterly, and The Washington Square Review. They received a BA with Honors in Literature from UC Santa Cruz in 2000 and an MA in English & an MFA in Poetry from San Francisco State University in 2003. Their new book, roōt for the underdog: poems, is out now on Dodsworth Books. They live in Los Angeles and Central Coast California.

Carlos Quinteros III is a wandering writer and educator who believes in spreading positivity through productivity. He graduated from San Francisco State University in the Spring of 2020. He began his MFA in Poetry at San Francisco State in the Fall of 2020. He is the Managing and Poetry Editor for the literary magazine The ANA. He is an award-winning poet and has been published in 14 Hills, Seen and Heard, and self-publishes work through the craft of bookbinding.

Hilary Cruz Mejia (she/they) is a queer Guatemalan poet and a first-generation college student residing in the SF Bay Area. You can find their latest published poem "as if revolution is made of puddles" in sPARKLE & bLINK 115, an anthology of Quiet Lightning/Better Ancestors. Outside of writing, they spend their time learning their abuela's recipes and being a cat auntie. 

Video, earlier programs in the series:

New Voice Series, featuring Raul Ruiz, with Zêdan Xelef, Alexiz Angel Romero, and Bianca White: May 5, 2022

New Voice Series, featuring Dan Lau, with Edward Gunawan, and Carlos Osoria: May 5, 2021


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