Kudos: San Francisco’s Mission district lights up with flowers and song 

The pen, they say, is mightier than the sword. Wordsmiths will find some choice cuts Thursday through Saturday at this year’s "Flor y Canto en el Barrio: A Celebration of Latino Poetry" in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The festival, in English called "Flower and Song in the Neighborhood," begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at Balmy Alley (24th Street between Harrison and Folsom streets) first with a kickoff party, then a six-venue lit crawl. It continues with more readings and workshops at various locations over the next two days; for the full schedule, visit www.friendsfpl.org.

Held in conjunction with the San Francisco International Poetry Festival, the festival is sponsored by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the San Francisco Public Library and Litquake. It unites young, unpublished poets with seasoned veterans such as two-time American Book Award winner Alejandro Murgula and local Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman.

Other participants include Lorna Dee Cervantes, Tomas Riley, Leticia Hernandez, Alfredo Arteaga, Roberto Vargas and Marc Piòate.

Its purpose, explains event curator Murgula, "is the pursuit of peace through the celebration of poetry, art, culture and friendship. We want to bring together people from all walks of life to be part of this extraordinary event."

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