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Year 3 at Public Poetry started in April with our Spring Series library readings that featured twelve fine poets over the course of three months.
Spring readings brought poets planted in academia, (Ange Mlinko, Katharine Jager, Chuck Taylor), others entrenched in the community doing good (James Adams, Gerald Cedillo, Bao-Long Chu, Darla McBryde, Dustin, B. Pickering, Charlie Scott), a UH student (Scott Chalupa), and two poets who joined us from Austin, (Usha Akella and Cindy Huyser). Some fabulous young poets involved with Writers In the Schools/WITS also stepped up to perform original work – and those kids had it memorized!
Additionally, Public Poetry celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day with several hundred young ones at Kashmere Gardens Elementary School, and as a continuation of the PRIZE POETS program presented in January, offered a workshop/conversation with Fady Joudah, initiated by Writers In the Schools, funded in part by a grant from the City’s Initiative Program through the Houston Arts Alliance. Additionally, each month throughout the year, our presence in the community is enhanced with our poets being included on The Front Row, KUHA (91.7 fm) and KUHF, (88.7 fm), insightfully interviewed by St.John Flynn or Katherine Lu.
Our wonderful partnership with Houston Public Library takes us to new library locations every three months, and for the upcoming Summer Series we’ll be at what is undoubtedly the most elegant library in Houston, The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, in the Carriage House, 5300 Caroline, 77004, once home to William Clayton (1880-1966) a prominent citizen who served several presidents. It is situated in the museum district, close to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Our 2 PM first-Saturday-of-the-month Summer Series will feature 13 new poets. On JULY 6, Michael Berryhill, Chris Carmona, Anis Shivani, Dulcie “Digh” Veluthukaran will be featured. AUGUST 3, we’ve got Kay Cosgrove, Peter Hyland, Lupe Mendez, David Tomas Martinez, Nancy K. Pearson reading. SEPTEMBER 7 is Daniel Carrington, Christa Forster, Robert Lunday, Bishop Ragtyme. Brochures with their bios will be available in libraries throughout Houston shortly, so please pick some up and pass them around. There will also be information on our web site coming very soon.
Speaking of the web site, it’s going to be redesigned and optimized, so if you have thoughts or suggestions about what you’d like to see improved, please let us know.
Fady Joudah is a Palestinian American poet, translator and physician of internal medicine. Alight, (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) is his second book of poetry, after The Earth in the Attic which won the Yale Prize for Younger Poets in 2007. He is also internationally acclaimed as a translator of the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, and most recently of Ghassan Zaqtan’s Like a Straw Bird it Follows Me, which is a finalist for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize. Textu, an e-book of short poems tapped out on his cell phone, is also being released. He has served in the field with Doctors Without Borders.
Public Poetry began celebrating National Poetry Month, week one, with readings by four featured poets Usha Akella, Scott Chalupa, Ange Mlinko and Chuck Taylor at Oak Forest Neighborhood Library. Included in a standing room only crowd were Public Poetry’s 2013/14 selection committee members Ken Jones, Oscar C. Peña, Yerra Sugarman (Jane Creighton and Marcel Murphy plus Director, Fran Sanders, complete that crew), as well as WITS Director, Robin Reagler. You couldn’t ask for a better start for our third year in partnership with the City of Houston/Houston Public Library.
Week two sees the culmination of the process to appoint a Poet Laureate for Houston (congratulations to Gwendolyn Zepeda); Public Poetry was honored to serve on the committee involved with that project. We’ll close out this week in front of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Auxiliary with poet Randall Watson evoking the Muse. Week three, Public Poetry will be at Kashmere Elementary School, helping them celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day with a presentation by poet Darla McBryde. Week four, we’ll be having a great time at the Poetry Festival at Roundtop. So, what are you doing this month?
It’s been a fantastic year for Public Poetry! Over the last 12 months (April 2012-March 2013) we’ve presented readings that have included three Texas Poets Laureate, two winners of the Yale Prize for Younger Poets and a roster of outstanding featured poets at various library locations, on the radio and at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Before we leap into our third year, we would like to thank all of the poets (see below) who have participated in these free public events. These programs would not be possible without an army of volunteers and supporters (also below) whose help and contributions keep Public Poetry going. We are especially grateful for generous financial and in-kind support from our wonderful partners at Houston Public Library, from the City of Houston, Houston Arts Alliance, Poets & Writers Inc., Writers In The Schools (WITS), The Front Row (88.7 FM kuhf News & 91.7 FM kuha Classical), Houston Media Source (HMS-TV), Pinewood Cafe in Hermann Park, Rudyards Pub and Mutabilis Press. Thank you one and all for your contributions and support. If we’ve inadvertently left anyone out in all the naming of names below, please know that you, too, are thanked.
Featured Poets ~ April 2012-March 2013
Thay Alafitta, Mike Alexander, Amanda Auchter, D.F. Brown, Jane Creighton, Barbara Crooker, Kelly Ann Ellis, Eric Ekstrand, Adamarie Fuller, Carolyn Florek, Van G. Garrett, Stephen Gros, Kurt Heinzelman, Ken Jones, Fady Joudah, Teresa Juarez, Katherine Larson, Erica Lehrer, Thad Logan, Janet Lowery, William Marabella, Lorena Parker-Matejowski, Anne McCrady, Karyna McGlynn, Jasminne Mendez, Jonathan Moody, Lisa Moore, Katherine Noble, David M. Parsons, Joseph “JoeP” Palmore, Jeremyah “The Fluent One” Payne, Oscar C. Peña, John Pluecker, Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan, Robin Reagler, Pattiann Rogers, Paul Ruffin, Jan Seale, Carmen Tafolla, Rebecca Wadlinger, Scott Wiggerman
Featured Poets ~ April 2011-March 2012
Alan Ainsworth, Sam Amadon, Outspoken Bean, Joseph Campana, Hayan Charara, Sarah Cortez, Robin Davidson, Ryler Dustin, Jeannie Gambill, Van G. Garrett, Elisa A. Garza, John Gorman, Rich Levy, Carol Louise Munn, Marcell Murphy, Radames Ortiz, Dave Parsons, Evangelina Vigil-Pinon, Kevin Prufer, Martha Serpas, Eva Skrande, Loueva Smith, Randall Watson, Deborah “DEEP” Wiggins, Susan Wood
Mayor Annise Parker, Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Mark Craig, Margaret Smithers Crump, Ad Deum Dance, Laney Dwyer, Carter Ernst, St.John Flynn, Stephen Fox, Katya Horner, Ken Jones, Paul Kittelson, Dominico Luciano, Arielle Masson, Meta-Four Houston, The Mighty Orq, Carol Brooks Platt, Art Rascon, Don Sanders, Dominic Walsh
Mike Alexander, Alan Ainsworth, Ali Audi, Janet Allen, Archway Gallery, Carolyn Avery, Michael Baldwin, Outspoken Bean, Gail Black, Tia Black, Olivia Blair, Sara Borders, Leslie G. Brown, Brazos Bookstore, Glen Burns, Sarah Caress, Joseph Campana, Champion Pipe, Jane Chance, Bao-Long Chu, Angie Coats, Elzy Cogswell, Jane Creighton, Sarah Cortez, Tony Diaz, Lucy & Wayne Donohow, Sandra Fernandez, Carolyn Dahl, Karen Deakin, Susan Ellis, Carolyn & Bob Florek, Adamarie Fuller, St.John Flynn, Dee Dee Fox, Richard Goldman, Kevin Hayes, Jay Heuman, Tony Hoagland, Katya Horner, Diem Jones, Jeninne Johnston, Ken Jones, Norma Koonz, KPFT-90.1, Katherine Lu, Wes, April & Beryl Kinsey, Maxine Lennon, Ivan Lett, Marilyn Lewis, Stephen Lloyd, Kim Lykins, Lupe Mendez, Susan Meyers, Margaret Mimms, Lauren Mitchell, Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, Mary Montague, Marcell Murphy, Gayatri Parikh, David M. Parsons, Gerhard Paskusz, Donna Pauley, Nancy K Pearson, Donna Perkins, Oscar C. Peña, Carol Brooks Platt, Dos Gatos Press, Kevin Prufer, Robin Reagler, Carol Reposa, Jacquelyn Reppond, Lelia Rodgers, Rudyards Pub, Don Sanders, Larry S. Sanders, Tracy Saucier, Alex Saenz, Judy Schubert, Jennifer Schwartz, Bret & Layla Shaw, Martha Serpas, Ire’ne Lara Silva, Greg Simpson, Loueva Smith, Society of the Fifth Cave, Bob Stephenson, Melissa Studdard, Colin Sturdevant, Harry Stille, Yerra Sugarman, TALA, Susanne Theis, David Ray Vance, Ariana Montelongo de Valdivia, Beatriz Varman, Scott Wallace, Jennifer Watson, Allen Westrick, Sarah Wheeler, WITS students, Vanessa Zimmer, D.E. Zuccone
Still with us? You can preview our new Spring Series (April – June 2013) here.
The combination of DF Brown, Erica Lehrer, Thad Logan and Karyna McGlynn is sure to ignite and energize the room at our next free library event taking place in Alief’s Asian corridor, Saturday, March 2 at 2 PM. Hear four outstanding poets weave their words, encourage a new student talent from Writers In The Schools, enter our raffle give-away, acquire on-the-spot autographed books, bring an appetite and eat afterwards – all this and more is upcoming at Public Poetry!