Sarah Cortez, Houston guest poet and ex police officer, will share her literary work about her time as a police officer at multiple events on campus.
Under the direction of Dr. Beatriz Walker, Hispanos Unidos and Sigma Delta Pi sponsor, the two organizations will unite to spend the afternoon meeting with Cortez.
The event will take place Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Conference Room located in the Hunter Welcome Center.
“I would like to stress that this is a great opportunity for students to expand their literary horizons,” Walker said.
Dr. Al Haley, professor of English and writer in residence, organized three other events for students to experience the writings of Cortez.
English 320 classes will join her for a Creative Nonfiction Workshop in which students will get the opportunity to learn the art of writing a memoir. Later, Cortez will share a public reading from her poetry along with a book signing at 8 p.m. in Hart Auditorium. On Wednesday morning, she will meet with Dr. Kelly Knight’s Crime and Delinquency class.
Haley invited Cortez to campus after after he heard her read from her first collection, How to Undress a Cop.
“I remember the first time I heard her read the title poem from her first collection,” Haley said. “My reaction was wow.”
According to her website, Cortez began writing about her police work poetically after several years of experience. Her book uncovers many stories, both humorous and tear jerking.
“Her poems are not of the obscure or mystifying variety,” Haley said. “They are compelling and cut-to-the-bone. One senses immediately this isn’t the world of cops shown on some TV crime drama; this is the real deal.”
With all of social media’s output of how negatively police officers are portrayed, Cortez gives a first-hand outlook on what it really takes to be a police officer and how she overcame many obstacles during her time there.
She said on her website it is her hope that some of her poems will spark understanding in civilians of the incredible things police officers deal with on a daily basis.