Ernesto Antonio Mares has died today.
In 2002, E.A. (Tony) Mares was my writing mentor. I was in the 10th grade at Albuquerque High School. Tony was a veterano poet from my barrio: Old Town, Albuquerque; La Plaza Vieja, Alburque; La Ruca, Burque; Los Estados Undidos de Atzlán. After a long struggle with lung disease, he joined los santos de poesía today. He inspired many young poets for decades as un profe at la Universidad de Nuevo Mexico and Albuquerque Public Schools. He performed at many Poetry and Beers, MAS Poetry Slams, Blue Dragons, Fixed and Frees, East of Ediths, Duendes, Central Avenues, Church of Beethoven, and Sunday Chatters. His poems captured the essence of the Chican@ existence in Albuquerque, he was always jovial, humble, and a teacher.
I, and many Burqueño poets, owe much debt to his work, his spirit, and his heart.
Rest in power, our profe.
May all the poems we write in the following years carry the lessons you taught us.
Please watch over our words, guide us in the path de verdad, amor, y justicîa
as you lived all your days, and as all your poems embodied.
Watch over us, please.
We need you now more than ever.
– Con respeto y amor por su familia,