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Latina poet to perform at coffeehouse

Latina poet Illiana Rocha will present a program at the monthly Not Yo Mama's Alternative Art event at The Percolator Coffeehouse Lounge from 7-9 p.m. Thursday.

Rose Welch is the creator of Not Yo Mama's Alternative Art and is excited for Rocha to perform in Lawton.

"We try to fulfill a niche in Lawton that isn't filled as far as art is concerned," Welch said. "We offer open mics, life-drawing and children's arts events."

Thursday's event will honor Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated in September. Local Tejana activist Amy Merchant, themed work from local Mexican poet Welch, and regular open mics with poets and performers from the Lawton Community will all be there.

Rocha is from Texas and earned a Master of Fine Arts at Arizona State University, where she was poetry editor for Hayden's Ferry Review, and her PhD in English Literature and creative writing from Western Michigan University. She has won many awards and honors through her career and is currently assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

"This event is not competitive and there is no entry fee for performers or any admission fee for audience members," Welch said. "This event is open to the public, but is uncensored. This series is made possible by the sponsorship of Carlos Los Irizarry, of the Percolator, and his generous support of our local arts community."

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