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Celebrating Poetry in San Miguel


By Maia Williams


Three experienced poets and writers, will share their poetry at the November 16th Poetry Café San Miguel.

Signe Hammer winters in San Miguel, where she writes, teaches writing workshops, co-leads bird walks, and coaches writers. She continues writing, birding, and coaching in NYC, where she is a long-time member of The Writers Room. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications including Fiction, New England Review, Rapport, On Barcelona, Playgirl, and the Doubleday anthologies Pleasures: Women Write Erotica and Erotic Interludes: Tales Told by Women. She has read her work at such venues as the Nuyorican Poets Café, The Knitting Factory, Dixon Place, the Cornelia St. Café, and the San Miguel Literary Sala.

Her articles have appeared in numerous national publications ranging from The Village Voice to Harper’s Bazaar. She has published four nonfiction books: her memoir, By Her Own Hand: Memoirs of a Suicide’s Daughter, was described as “fascinating and disturbing,” with “an ironic distance worthy of Jane Austen,” in the New York Times Book Review, which named it a Notable Book.

As a dance-theater performer, Signe was a founding member of Meredith Monk/The House. She has also been an editor at both a major book publisher and a national magazine, and taught writing for 12 years at New York University.

Mark Johaningsmeir has been a resident of San Miguel de Allende since early 2011. Why did he move here? Not because of the architecture. It was because of a woman! Judith Jenya and Mark met in September 2010 and were married in November 2011.

He is a retired United Methodist minister who is happy not to face a Sunday morning writing deadline every week.

Mark grew up in Waukegan, Illinois and spent most of his adult years in Minnesota.

He has two adult children, a son near Saint Paul and a daughter in Milwaukee and two superlative granddaughters. Mark is gratified that his offspring live up to the high standards of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, “where the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are all above average.”

One of the projects Judith and Mark tackled in San Miguel was the planning and construction of a new home in 2014. Neither had experience in building a house. He is happy to report that they are delighted with their new home – and the marriage survived.


Béa Aaronson was born in Paris, France in 1956. She is a self-taught multimedia artist, a published poet, author, and art critic, a lecturer, and independent scholar as well as a stage performer and a storyteller. She is now embarking on a magical cinematographic adventure in the Mexican production of Director Andrea Martinez Crowther, called Birdwatching. It is a big screen film about the effects of Alzheimer’s on a woman writer from her fifties until her eighties. Aaronson holds a BA in History of Art, an MA in French Literature and a PhD in Philosophy and Comparative Literature. She published and illustrated her first book in 1998, Baudelaire-Miller Sexual Squalor in Paris, which is now the property of Harvard’s Private Book Collection. She is presently working on a collection of poems in Spanish, MALETAS.

Founded in January of 2016, Poetry Café Bellas Artes meets monthly, September through April. This all-volunteer community organization features local and visiting poets (established and emerging) sharing original work in a casual setting.

Please arrive a few minutes early. Seating will be first come, first seated.



Poetry Café San Miguel presents

Signe Hammer, Mark Johaningsmeir, Béa Aaronson

Thu, Nov 16, 5-6pm

Hotel Aldea

Posada de la Aldea

Ancha de San Antonio 15-Upstairs

Suggested Donation 50 pesos


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