San Antonio Poet Laureate fired after controversial poem is posted on social media

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — After 4 months on the job, San Antonio’s Poet Laureate has been fired.

The City of San Antonio says they have terminated Nephtali de Leon’s contract due to a poem he posted online.

The poem reportedly included a racist slur.

The City says the poem doesn’t reflect their “inclusive values” and released the following statement when announcing de Leon’s firing:

“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 poem, posted on de Leon’s social media pages July 31, was written in honor of author and educator Roberto “Clinti” Rodriguez who had died that day.

The Department of Arts and Culture will begin looking for a new Poet Laureate in November and appoint someone else to the position in April.

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