San Antonio poet laureate’s contract terminated after controversial poem posted to social media

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture will seek a new poet laureate after terminating Nephtalí de León’s contract over a controversial poem posted to social media.

The city said the poem does not reflect inclusive values, issuing a statement that read in part, “The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture is committed to championing policies and practices that empower a just, inclusive and equitable city which aligns with the City of San Antonio’s mission statement and core values.

“The City of San Antonio’s Poet Laureate is to uphold these values, which include denouncing racism among other oppressive barriers, while using creative poetic expressions to unite our community. Nephtalí De León recently posted a poem contrary to the City’s values and the role of City Poet Laureate. As a result, Mr. De León’s contract with the City of San Antonio has been terminated.”

The department will announce a new window to nominate a San Antonio poet laureate in November.

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