The selection committee invite the featured poets who read at each event. Committee members serve as volunteers for one year, and then each selects their successor.
SELECTION COMMITTEE MEMBERS – April 2013 – March 2014
Jane Creighton‘s work has been published in Ploughshares, The American Voice, Gulf Coast, the online journal of The Poetry Foundation and in anthologies including We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon (Interlink Books), Still Seeking and Attitude: Critical Reflections on the Work of June Jordan (Lexington Books) Unwinding the Vietnam War (Real Comet Press) and Close to the Bone: Memoirs of Hurt, Rage, and Desire (Grove Press). She teaches and is Director of the Cultural Enrichment Center at the University of Houston–Downtown.
Marcell Murphy is a poet, spoken word artist and writer from the Houston area, who has performed all over the United States, Canada and Jamaica, and has opened for legendary poet, Amiri Baraka. He was one of the founding members of the Houston Poetry Slam Team and placed in the top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships in 2004. He’s in print in The Complete Idiots Guide to Poetry Slams, and The Panhandler.
Oscar C. Peña is a poet and jazz musician,. He’s been a juried poet at Houston Poetry Fest and his work appears in various anthologies such as Di-vêrse’-city and Voices along the River. Oscar is the author of a chapbook, Fire of Thorns and has performed his poetry at venues throughout Texas. He was the host of the Barnes & Noble 4th Tuesday Poetry Reading Series and Friendswood Library Presents Poetry Night
Yerra Sugarman is the author of two poetry collections: Forms of Gone and The Bag of Broken Glass, both published by The Sheep Meadow Press. She was awarded a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, a Canada Council Grant for Creative Writers, the 2005 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Poetry Award, a “Discovery”/The Nation Poetry Prize, a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, the Poetry Society of America’s George Bogin Memorial Award and its Cecil Hemley Memorial Award, as well as a Chicago Literary Award. Her poems, translations and articles have appeared in Prairie Schooner; The Nation; Another Chicago Magazine; Cimarron Review; Literary Imagination; Nightsun; Lyric; Pleiades; The Massachusetts Review; Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust, The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, among other publications. Her work has been translated into French and has been published in French journals. She is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
Fran Sanders, Founder and Director of Public Poetry, was host of The Poets’ Corner at Sight Into Sound/Taping for the Blind (1995-2011), presenting over 350 poetry programs for radio and also established Houston’s first poetry audio archive in 2009.
SELECTION COMMITTEE MEMBERS – April 2012 – March 2013
Alan Ainsworth teaches writing at Houston Community College and elsewhere; his poetry and prose have been published in the Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, the American Book Review, and many other journals.
Lupe Mendez is originally from Galveston, Texas, but has lived in Houston for the last decade, where he works with Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, PoetryCo. and the Brazilian Arts Foundation to establish poetry and creative writing workshops open to the public. Lupe’s recent work is now part of Norton’s newest anthology -Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories From The United States and Latin America, the 25th anniversary edition of The Bayou Review (University of Houston-Downtown) and as of April 2011, in the UK, Flash (University of Chester, England)- the international forum for flash fiction.
Radames Ortiz’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals including, Gulf Coast, Texas Observer, Open City, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cortland Review, and Exquisite Corpse. His work has also been collected in various anthologies including US Latino Literature Today, Regeneration: Telling Stories from Our Twenties, and Is This Forever, Or What?: Poems and Paintings from Texas. You can follow him on twitter @radameso and read his blog at http://theamplifiedbard.blogspot.com/
Nancy K. Pearson’s first book of poems, Two Minutes of Light, won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She was also a two-year fellow at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Before moving to Houston last July, she worked as a waitress, landscaper and taxi driver. Currently, she’s an instructor at Houston Community College and a teacher for Writers in the Schools.
Fran Sanders, Founder and Director of Public Poetry, was host of The Poets’ Corner at Sight Into Sound/Taping for the Blind (1995-2011), presenting over 350 poetry radio programs and also established Houston’s first poetry audio archive in 2009.