Tony Robles named 2020 Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence

Press release from the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site:

Polly Angelakis, Superintendent of Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, and Annette Dubrouillet, President of the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara, are pleased to announce the 2020 Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence, Anthony “Tony” Robles. Mr. Robles’ residency will run from Wednesday, March 18, to Wednesday, April 8.

Tony Robles was born in San Francisco and is the nephew of Filipino-American poet, historian and social justice activist Al Robles. He was a shortlist nominee for poet laureate of San Francisco in 2017 and the recipient of the San Francisco Art Commission individual literary artist grant in 2018. His two books of poetry and short stories, Cool Don’t Live Here No More—A letter to San Francisco and Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike, take on the issues of eviction, gentrification and police violence in communities of color. He is also the author of two children’s books, Lakas and the Manilatown Fish and Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel.

Tony moved to Hendersonville, NC, in 2019. He has since become a volunteer with the Friends of the Library of Henderson County and Meals on Wheels. He is deeply honored to be selected as Writer-in-Residence and sees it as an opportunity to “honor the legacy of Carl Sandburg as a people’s poet and to give something back to a community” that has welcomed him with much warmth and graciousness. During his residency he will work on a novel in progress, Fillmore Flip, which is based on his family’s life in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, and promote poetry to honor the legacy of Carl Sandburg.

“The Writer-in-Residence program offers local residents of all ages an opportunity to learn from writers through outreach and education programs held at the site and in the community,” Superintendent Angelakis said. “We are delighted to welcome Tony and offer him a place to continue practicing his craft and eager to offer our community opportunities to learn from him.”

Tony will host a writing workshop on Saturday, April 4, at 10:00 a.m. at the Sandburg Home. Space is limited to 16 participants. Please call the park to sign-up at 828-693-4178. He will also be a guest speaker for the North Carolina Writers Network on Wednesday, April 8, at the Brandy Bar in Hendersonville. He will give a reading during the main program at 7:00 p.m., to be followed by an open mic forum from 8:00–9:00 p.m. Any writer who wants to read 3-5 minutes of prose or poetry can sign up between 6:30-6:50 p.m. that evening.

The annual Writer-in-Residence program is supported by the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara. The Friends promote vital education initiatives for teachers, students and the public.

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park Service. The park is located three miles south of Hendersonville off U.S. 225 on Little River Road, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Weekdays are less busy than weekends. For parking options, please visit For further information, please telephone 828-693-4178 or visit our website at

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