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Poetry Café Bellas Artes

mariana ratna dakini

By Maia Williams

The third fall season of San Miguel de Allende’s popular Poetry Café will begin by featuring three dynamic poets on September 20.

Ratna Dikini Mariana, whose birth name is Mariana Robles Martinez, was born in Puebla, Mexico in 1981. She has travelled and explored many states of being and geographies. She has lived in several cities, including Montreal, Mexico City, and now San Miguel.

In 2000, she earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities, focusing on fine arts, at Universidad de las Américas—Puebla, graduating cum laude. From 2006 to 2007, Ratna was awarded a grant for young writers called the Beca Formación de Jóvenes Escritores (“Scholarship for the Formation of Young Writers”) from la Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas (The Academy of Mexican Letters) in Mexico City. She has also worked as a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader for a pre-Hispanic archeology institution.

Ratna became a Tibetan Buddhist in 2013, and has since dedicated her time to Buddhist practice, writing poetry, dancing, drawing, and guiding Hatha yoga sessions.

She has published dramatic works, short stories, and articles in Mexican literary magazines such as Tierra Adentro and Pliego 16 and contributed a piece to the anthology Literatura Jóven de México. Her first collection of poetry awaits publication and is entitled Warm Water: Poems for Humans who Practice.

Ashley Howes Ashley was born in the United States; raised in London, England; and has since lived in the US, Canada, Europe, and now Mexico, mainly working as a nonprofit administrator and teacher. For five decades now, he has enjoyed writing spontaneously composed poetry. Some sort of idea or feeling prompts the first line of a composition that is written out line by line and then either left as is or very lightly edited. The method derives both from Japanese haiku, usually restricted to three lines or a specific number of syllables, and from Buddhist-style dohas, which usually marry a philosophical insight or meditative state with bedrock personal experience—feelings, moods, emotions, and so forth. This reading will feature a selection from the 1990s up until the present to (hopefully) show both personal and compositional development over time.

Tasha Paley, formerly a creative arts therapist, now immerses herself in creating art in many forms—poetry, writing vignettes and plays, painting, acting, and writing, as well as illustrating children’s books. She is currently working on a one-woman show. Wherever she hangs her hat, Tasha teaches Playback Theater, a form of improv performance honoring humanity by enacting real life stories on the spot, using music, movement, poetry, theatrical skills, heart, and deep listening. She lives primarily in San Miguel but has another art-filled life in Brooklyn, New York.

Founded in January of 2016, Poetry Café Bellas Artes meets monthly, September through April. This all-volunteer 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 Bellas Artes presents

Ratna Dikini Mariana, Ashley Howes, Tasha Paley

Thu, Sep 20, 5–6pm

Sala Literaria, First Floor

Bellas Artes

Hernández Macías 75

Suggested Donation: 50 pesos


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