Prolific writer and Trinity University professor emeritus, Robert Flynn, was honored as a Texas Literary Legend at the May 6 Inaugural Voices of Texas Celebration sponsored by the literary organization Voices De La Luna. The beloved author was greeted warmly by the packed house at the San Antonio Art League Museum where he read his award-winning story, Living with the Hyenas, published in a collection by the same name. The 2018 Texas Poet Laureate, Carol Coffee Reposa, was also honored and read three of her narrative poems. (Full disclosure: I was the emcee of the event)
Among those applauding them were two other poets laureate – Carmen Tafolla, the first poet laureate of San Antonio, and Octavio Quintanilla, who was selected last month as the fourth bearer of the San Antonio title. What’s more, the memory of yet another laureate, Aline Carter, who held the Texas title from 1947-49. was present in the room thanks to a chair that once belonged to her. Dubbed “the Storyteller’s Chair” and decorated for the occasion by artist Lyn Belisle, the chair was raffled off at the end of the proceedings.
A former Marine and Vietnam War correspondent, Flynn is the author of nine novels, three story collections, two memoirs, a volume of essays and two nonfiction works. His most recent book, “Holy Literary License” was released last year by San Antonio-based Wings Press. With many awards to his name, he is also a member and past president of the Texas Institute of Letters and a 2012 inductee in the Texas Literary Hall of Fame. Flynn’s essay on how he became a writer will appear in the May 15 issue of the Voices De La Luna magazine.
Reposa is the author of four poetry collections, including the most recent one Underground Musicians.
Voices De La Luna magazine and the nonprofit behind it were co-founded in 2008 by writers Mo Saidi and James Brandenburg to “promote literature and the arts and as a platform for authors to share their work with others.” Voices is available at the Twig Book Shop and at the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s bookstore, as well as by subscription. A special section during this Tricentennial year, features essays by San Antonio writers reflecting on mentors and authors who influenced and inspired them.
Photos (from top): Robert Flynn and Carol Reposa; The Storyteller’s Chair’ Robert Flynn receives commemorative plaque from Lyn Belisle; Flynn with Carmen Tafolla, Cary Clack, Louise Locker and Jasmina Wellinghoff; Harold Rodinsky and Octavio Quintanilla (Photos by Allan Smith)