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Recent Events

Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Justin Jannise, Mark Haber, francine j. harris
Thursday, August 29, 8:30 pm
(Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer Rd)

Founded and currently organized by UH Creative Writing students and alumni, Poison Pen was voted Houston’s Best Reading Series in 2014 by the Houston Press. Poison Pen brings in three readers on the last Thursday of each month. Poison Pen’s readers are locally and nationally recognizable writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Conor Bracken reads from Scorpionic Sun
Thursday, September 12, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Conor will be in conversation with translation enthusiast and Brazos’ own Mark Haber. 
Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine was one of the most prodigious, ferocious Moroccan writers of his time—a time defined by political upheaval, repression, exile, and change. His first novel, Agadir, won the Enfants Terribles Prize founded by Jean Cocteau, and his poetry earned him comparisons to Rimbaud, Antonin Artaud, Aimé Césaire, and Édouard Glissant. However, his work has never appeared in English, let alone the U.S. (and even less so—blasphemously—in Texas).
Now, though, it does, in Conor Bracken’s translation of Khaïr-Eddine’s first collection of poems, Scorpionic Sun. Hailed by Johannes Goransson as “a return of a political surrealism when its convulsive bloom is most needed,” this collection of poems showcases Khaïr-Eddine’s vigorous, relentless, “linguistic guerrilla war.” The poems take aim at a wide variety of targets: King Hassan II, the French, pan-Arabism, colonialism, exile, prejudice, and more. Above all, though, his target is the French language itself, which he wields with exhilarating force and dexterity in order to decolonize it, using it to describe without prejudice the land and people of which he is a part.
Conor Bracken is the author of Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour (Bull City Press, 2017), winner of the fifth annual Frost Place Chapbook Competition, and translator of Mohammed Khair-Eddine’s Scorpionic Sun (CSU Poetry Center, September 2019). Recent poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in BOMB, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, Waxwing,and elsewhere. Former Moon Papas Island Poet-in-Residence and current assistant professor of English at the University of Findlay, he received his MFA from the University of Houston.
Sarah Adleman reads from The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes
Friday, September 13, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)

Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Poetry. Hybrid Genre. “To call Sarah Adleman’s memoir profound and beautiful would be a grossly inadequate attempt to describe a brilliant, deeply moving yet unflinchingly unsentimental exploration of grief I could never in my life have begun to imagine, at least not until now: a blended-genre collage of historical, scientific, autobiographical and deeply spiritual nonfiction, poetry and prose poetry, including the poetry written by Adleman’s wise, remarkable mother. This memoir asks some of the most difficult questions anyone can ask: How is acceptance and forgiveness even possible in the face of unspeakable cruelty and violence? How is it possible even to describe, much less to find the right metaphors for, unspeakable pain and grief? Yet through her most profound struggles, Adleman finds a way, taking us on long journeys by train, across snowy landscapes, even to sweat lodges and Tibet, making a deep dive into such a complex array of extended metaphors that she can finally bring herself, and us, to a kind of understanding and acceptance. Before now, I could not have imagined a more courageous, life-changing memoir than this, yet here it is, a loving tribute to Adleman’s long-grieving father and lost mother.” —Lex Williford.
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Colson Whitehead
Monday, September 16, 7:30 pm 
(Cullen Performance Hall, Univ of Houston, 4300 University Drive)

Colson Whitehead is, according to George Saunders, “a splendidly talented writer, with more range than any other American novelist currently working – he can be funny, lyrical, satirical, earnest – whatever is needed by the work.” He is the author of seven novels and two works of nonfiction, including his first novel, The Intuitionist, which John Updike in The New Yorker called “ambitious,” “scintillating,” and “strikingly original.” In 2016, Whitehead published the #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, about a young woman’s will to escape slavery and a literal “underground railroad” with engineers and conductors operating a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the South, for which he earned both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award – only the sixth writer ever to win both for the same book.
Named a best book of the year by The New York Times Book ReviewThe Washington PostThe Boston Globe, and others, The Underground Railroad is considered an “American masterpiece” (NPR). Whitehead returns to Houston with his new book The Nickel Boys, “a stunning novel of impeccable language and startling insight” (Publishers Weekly), based on true events from a boys’ reformatory in Jim Crow-era Florida, about two African American teens whose polarizing world views echo beyond the decades. Whitehead’s many honors include Guggenheim and MacArthur “genius” Fellowships and a Whiting Writers Award. He has taught at many universities, including the UH Creative Writing Program.
Glass Mountain Reading and Open Mic
Tuesday, September 17, 7pm
(Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Road)

Glass Mountain is a national undergraduate literary magazine run by undergraduates at UH. Readings will feature a reading by students published in the most recent issue with an open mic to follow. The open mic is open to all. Please visit the Glass Mountain website for more details:


An Evening of Poetry with Joseph Campana & David Baker 
Thursday, September 19, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
The Book of Life by Joseph Campana
The Book of Life finds inspiration in the pages of LIFE Magazine, from its origin in the Great Depression to its demise amid the Apollo missions, with many milestones between: the Korean War and Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War and immolation of Thich Quang Duc, and the Kennedy and King assassinations. LIFE’s compendium of the American century stretches from its initial cover, Margaret Bourke-White’s photo of the Fort Peck Dam in Montana, to its final, year-in-review issue covering the lunar mission, with an image of the Earth that awakened a planetary consciousness.

Using the lens of poet, arts critic, and scholar of Renaissance literature, Joseph Campana locates an individual life in the churning wake of these great events; he is a poet who persists in the hope of reawakening the past, while simultaneously finding and providing a guide for this journey called life.
Swift by David Baker
A sweeping achievement from a poet whose “rhythms are as alive to the roll and tang of syllables on the tongue as they are to the circulation of blood and sap” -Rosanna Warren (Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize citation)

David Baker, acclaimed for his combination of “visionary scope” (Gettysburg Review) and “emotional intensity” (Georgia Review), is one of contemporary poetry’s most gifted lyric poets. In Swift, he gathers poems from eight collections, including his masterful latest, Scavenger Loop (2015); the prize-winning, intimate travelogues of Never-Ending Birds (2009); and the complications of history and home in Changeable Thunder (2001). Opening the volume are fifteen new poems that continue Baker’s growth in form and voice as he investigates the death of parents, the loss of homeland, and a widening natural history, not only of his beloved Midwest but of the tropical flora and fauna of a Caribbean island.
Together, these poems showcase the evolution of Baker’s distinct eco-poetic conscience, his mastery of forms both erotic and elegiac, and his keen eye for the shifting landscapes of passion, heartbreak, and renewal. With equal curiosity and candor, Baker explores the many worlds we all inhabit—from our most intimate relationships to the wider social worlds of neighborhoods, villages, and our complex national identity, to the environmental community we all share.

With his dazzling formal restlessness and lifelong devotion to landscapes both natural and human on full display, David Baker demonstrates why he has been called “the most expansive and moving poet to come out of the American Midwest since James Wright” (Marilyn Hacker).
Joseph Campana is a poet, arts critic, and scholar of Renaissance literature. He is the author of three collections of poetry, The Book of Faces (Graywolf, 2005), Natural Selections (Iowa, 2012), which received the Iowa Poetry Prize, and The Book of Life (Tupelo, 2019). His poetry appears in Slate, Kenyon Review, Poetry, Conjunctions, GuernicaMichigan Quarterly Review, and Colorado Review, while individual poems have won prizes from Prairie Schooner and the Southwest Review. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He reviews the arts, books, media and culture regularly for The Houston ChronicleCultureMapThe Kenyon Review, and other venues and is the author of dozens of scholarly essays on Renaissance literature and culture as well as a study of poetics The Pain of Reformation: Spenser, Vulnerability, and the Ethics of Masculinity (Fordham, 2012). He teaches at Rice University where he is Alan Dugald McKillop Professor of English.
David Baker is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize winner Never-Ending Birds, and six books of prose. Among his awards are prizes and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mellon Foundation, and Society of Midland Authors. He holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he lives, and is poetry editor of the Kenyon Review.
Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Ilya Kaminsky 
Saturday, September 21, 7pm
(Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main St.)

The Gulf Coast reading series presents the poetry and prose of UH graduate students, paired with prominent featured visiting writers, at Lawndale Art Center. Participating students come from the MFA and PhD programs in Creative Writing. Doors open for a cocktail reception at 6:30 pm, with the program starting at 7. 
Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Erin Belieu, Madeleine Maillet, Anthony Sutton
Thursday, September 26, 8:30 pm
(Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer Rd)

Founded and currently organized by UH Creative Writing students and alumni, Poison Pen was voted Houston’s Best Reading Series in 2014 by the Houston Press. Poison Pen brings in three readers on the last Thursday of each month. Poison Pen’s readers are locally and nationally recognizable writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

(Home)Land: A Reading and Conversation with Angela So & Monica Sok
Saturday, September 28, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)

(Home)land: A Reading and Conversation with Angela So & Monica Sok will examine what it means to be the children of refugees, the (dis)connection of home and land, and the search for home. The reading will conclude with a conversation and Q&A.
In Dust, a novel-in-progress, Angela So weaves together a multigenerational tale of loss and survival as a Cambodian-American family in Houston navigates a shifting world in the midst of a second Dust Bowl.
In her debut collection, Monica Sok uses poetry to reshape a family’s memory about the Khmer Rouge regime―memory that is both real and imagined―according to a child of refugees. Driven by myth-making and fables, the poems examine the inheritance of the genocide and the profound struggles of searing grief and PTSD. Though the landscape of Cambodia is always present, it is the liminal space, the in-betweenness of diaspora, in which younger generations must reconcile their history and create new rituals. A Nail the Evening Hangs On seeks to reclaim the Cambodian narrative with tenderness and an imagination that moves towards wholeness and possibility.
This event is funded in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.
ANGELA SO is a Cambodian American writer with an MFA in fiction from The Ohio State University. Her prose has been published in Glimmer Train, Day One, Houston Chronicle, and The Pinch. She has received fellowships from Kundiman and the Vermont Studio Center. Currently, she is the Director of Strategic Communications at Writers in the Schools.

MONICA SOK is a Cambodian American poet and the daughter of former refugees. She is the author of A Nail the Evening Hangs On (forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press, 2020). She has received fellowships from Poetry Society of America, Elizabeth George Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Kundiman. Sok is a 2018-2020 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and teaches poetry at Banteay Srei and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants in Oakland. She is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 
Kristin Hanna reads from The Great Alone
Wednesday, October 2, 7:30 pm
(Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, 6221 Main Street)
This event is presented off-site at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church. Each ticket comes with a paper back copy of The Great Alone.
Kristin Hannah will be in conversation with Katherine Center. 
In Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author more than twenty novels. A former lawyer turned writer, she is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.
Leslie Jamison reads from Make it Scream, Make it Burn
Thursday, October 3, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
From the “astounding” (Entertainment Weekly), “spectacularly evocative” (The Atlantic), and “brilliant” (Los Angeles Times) author of the New York Times bestsellers The Recovering and The Empathy Exams comes a return to the essay form in this expansive new book.
With the virtuosic synthesis of memoir, criticism, and journalism for which she has become known, Leslie Jamison offers us fourteen new essays that are by turns ecstatic, searching, staggering, and wise. In its kaleidoscopic sweep, Mke it Scream, Make it Burn creates a profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession.
Among Jamison’s subjects are 52 Blue, deemed “the loneliest whale in the world”; the eerie past-life memories of children; the devoted citizens of an online world called Second Life; the haunted landscape of the Sri Lankan Civil War; and an entire museum dedicated to the relics of broken relationships. Jamison follows these examinations to more personal reckonings — with elusive men and ruptured romances, with marriage and maternity — in essays about eloping in Las Vegas, becoming a stepmother, and giving birth.
Often compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, and widely considered one of the defining voices of her generation, Jamison interrogates her own life with the same nuance and rigor she brings to her subjects. Indeed, this refusal to hide — this emotional and intellectual frankness — is precisely the quality that makes her questing and irrepressible voice impossible to resist.
Leslie Jamison is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Recovering and The Empathy Exams, and the novel The Gin Closet. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and her work has appeared in publications including The AtlanticHarper’s, the New York Times Book Review, the Oxford American, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Mark Haber reads from Reinhardt’s Garden
Friday, October 4, 6pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Join us in celebration of Brazos’ own Mark Haber and his debut novel Reinhardt’s Garden! The festivities will kick off with a Happy Hour at 6:00pm, complete with drinks, jams, and Brazos friends! The reading and discussion will follow at 6:30pm. Mark Haber will be in conversation with Daniel Pena. 
At the turn of the twentieth century, as he composes a treatise on melancholy, Jacov Reinhardt sets off from his small Croatian village in search of his hero and unwitting mentor, Emiliano Gomez Carrasquilla, who is rumored to have disappeared into the South American jungle—“not lost, mind you, but retired.” Jacov’s narcissistic preoccupation with melancholy consumes him, and as he desperately recounts the myth of his journey to his trusted but ailing scribe, hope for an encounter with the lost philosopher who holds the key to Jacov’s obsession seems increasingly unlikely.

From Croatia to Germany, Hungary to Russia, and finally to the Americas, Jacov and his companions grapple with the limits of art, colonialism, and escapism in this antic debut where dark satire and skewed history converge.

Mark Haber’s 2008 collection of stories, Deathbed Conversions, was translated into Spanish in 2017. He has served as a juror for the National Endowment for the Arts translation grant as well as the Best Translated Book Award. He lives in Houston, Texas, where he is a bookseller and the operations manager of Brazos Bookstore.
Malcolm Gladwell reads from Talking to Strangers
Tuesday, October 8, 7pm
(The Ballroom at Bayou Place, 500 Texas Ave)
This ticketed event will be off-site at The Ballroom at Bayou Place.
Talking to Strangers is a classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure, a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news. He revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, and the death of Sandra Bland—throwing our understanding of these and other stories into doubt. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. In his first book since his #1 bestseller, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell has written a gripping guidebook for troubled times.
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: The Tipping PointBlinkOutliersWhat the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is the host of the podcast Revisionist History and is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. Previously, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business and science, and then served as the newspaper’s New York City bureau chief. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He lives in New York.

Glass Mountain presents Write-a-Thon
Saturday, October 26, 8am – 5pm
(UH Writing Center, CBB 238)
Glass Mountain is a national undergraduate literary magazine run by undergraduates at UH.
Write-A-Thon is Glass Mountain’s day of writing and networking for students. Please visit for more details.
An Evening with Kristin Dykstra and Reina Maria Rodriguez 
Saturday, October 26, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Award-winning translator Kristin Dykstra will will be joined by poet Reina María Rodriguez, one of Cuba's most celebrated authors. Both writer and translator will read from The Winter Garden Photograph (Ugly Duckling Press, 2019) and other works.
Reina María Rodríguez (b. 1952) lives in Havana, Cuba. Among other career awards, she has won the 2002 Alejo Carpentier Medal for Achievement in Cuban literature, Cuba’s 2013 National Prize for Literature, and the 2014 Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Prize for Poetry. Titles by Rodríguez in English include Otras cartas a Milena (Other Letters to Milena, translated by Kristin Dykstra (University of Alabama Press, 2014).
Kristin Dykstra is the principal translator of Reina María Rodríguez. With Kent Johnson, she is co-editor of Amanda Berenguer’s Materia Prima (Ugly Duckling Press, 2018). She is the translator of Cubanology, a book of days by Omar Pérez (Station Hill Press, 2018) and of other Cuban authors including Juan Carlos Flores, Angel Escobar, and Marcelo Morales. The recipient of an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship, Dykstra won the inaugural Gulf Coast Prize for Literary Translation.
Glass Mountain Reading and Open Mic
Tuesday, October 29, 7pm
(Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Road)
Glass Mountain is a national undergraduate literary magazine run by undergraduates at UH. Readings will feature a reading by students published in the most recent issue with an open mic to follow. The open mic is open to all. Please visit the Glass Mountain website for more details:
An Evening of Poetry with francine j. harris and Meg Day
Tuesday, October 29, 7:30pm
(Jung Center)
Meg Day is the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street, 2014), winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and The Publishing Triangle's 2015 Audre Lorde Award,
francine j. harris is the author of allegiance (2012), a finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award; and play dead (2016).
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates
Tuesday, October 29, 7:30 pm 
(Cullen Performance Hall, Univ of Houston, 4300 University Drive)
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive” language has been hailed by the legendary Toni Morrison as “required reading,” and The New York Observer calls him “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States.” Coates’s groundbreaking book Between the World and Me—an essay in the form of a letter to his son—was a #1 New York Times bestseller, won the National Book Award and a NAACP Image Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, and was on several end of the year best books lists. The Boston Globe describes it as “echoing Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man” and “written in the tradition of James Baldwin.” A former national correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates has been praised for his journalism on cultural, political, and social issues and his recognized pieces include “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” “The Case for Reparations,” “Fear of a Black President,” and “This is How We Lost to the White Man.” In 2017, his essays were published in We Were Eight Years in Power, an “emotionally charged, deftly drafted, and urgently relevant” (Kirkus Reviews) collection examining the nation’s cultural and political landscape during the Obama administration.
Coates, a MacArthur fellow, is also the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle and the current author for Black Panther and Captain America comic series. He will read from his highly anticipated debut novel The Water Dancer. “In prose that sings and imagination that soars,” Publisher Weekly says with this novel, “Coates further cements himself as one of this generation’s most important writers, tackling one of America’s oldest and darkest periods with grace and inventiveness. This is bold, dazzling, and not to be missed.”
The Unsung Masters Series & Music & Literature--reading and celebration! With Meg Day, Niki Herd, Taylor Davis-Van Atta
October 30, 6:30pm
(Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main Street)
Drinks served!
The Unsung Masters Series seeks to bring great, out-of-print, little-known authors to the attention of new generations of readers. Each volume includes a large selection of original poetry or fiction as well as essays by various hands, interviews, photographs, and ephemera. This year's volume is on the work of poet and disability rights activist Laura Hershey, edited by Meg Day and Niki Herd.
Music & Literature is devoted to publishing and promoting the work of underrepresented artists from around the world. Each edition of Music & Literature assembles an international cast of writers and critics in celebration of featured artists whose work has yet to reach its deserved audience. The ninth edition (2019) features Swiss master of the short form Peter Bischel and Canadian poet Sylvia Legris.
Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Angela So, Laura Eve Engel, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth
Thursday, October 31, 8:30 pm
(Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer Rd)
Founded and currently organized by UH Creative Writing students and alumni, Poison Pen was voted Houston’s Best Reading Series in 2014 by the Houston Press. Poison Pen brings in three readers on the last Thursday of each month. Poison Pen’s readers are locally and nationally recognizable writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Leanna Petronella reads from The Imaginary Age
Friday, November 1, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Leanna Petronella’s poetry appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Third Coast, Birmingham Poetry Review, CutBank, Quarterly West, ElevenEleven, and other publications. Her fiction appears in Drunken Boat, and her nonfiction appears in Brevity.  She holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri, where she was Poetry Editor for the Missouri Review, and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Her debut collection, The Imaginary Age, won the 2018 Pleiades Press Editors Prize, and will be forthcoming in October 2019. Learn more here
Meggie Monahan grew up outside of Philadelphia and moved to Houston in 2009. She received an MFA from the University of Houston, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets, The American Journal of Poetry, The Cortland Review, Natural Bridge, and elsewhere. Meggie is the Director of Development & Community Partnerships at Writers in the Schools (WITS). When not at WITS, Meggie can be found teaching sweaty Spandex-clad folks at BIG Power Yoga in Montrose.

An Evening with Gloria Steinem
Thursday, November 7, 7pm
(Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd)
Presented by Brazos Bookstore, in partnership with Congregation Emanu El & Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center.

Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine, and she remained one of its editors for fifteen years. In 1968, she helped found New York magazine, where she was a political columnist and wrote feature articles. Her books include the bestsellers Revolution from Within, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, Marilyn: Norma Jeane, and As if Women Matter (published in India). Steinem has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, the Front Page and Clarion awards, the National Magazine Award, the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations, the James Weldon Johnson Award for Journalism, and many others. In 2013, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

LatinX Showcase featuring Roberto Tejada, Ire’ne Lara Silva, Em Felker
Saturday, November 9, 7pm
(1412 W. Alabama St)
A celebration of LatinX writers, presented by Denfunkt Magazine, in collaboration with the Transart Foundation.
Defunkt Magazine is a Houston-based publication which showcases compelling, accessible, and culturally relevant work--anything the mainstream is ignoring or marginalizing.

Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Elizabeth Gilbert
Monday, November 11, 7:30 pm 
(Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, Entrance #18 & #20)
Elizabeth Gilbert’s “prose is fueled by a mix of intelligence, wit, and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible” (The New York Times Book Review). Her work has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/Hemingway Award. Gilbert is best known for her memoir Eat Pray Love – “a wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight” (Anne Lamott) – following a difficult divorce and travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia. Translated into more than 30 languages, the book was an international bestseller, with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide.
Her novel The Signature of All Things, “a masterly tale of overflowing sensual and scientific enthusiasms in the nineteenth century” (Time), was named a best book of 2013 by The New York TimesO: The Oprah MagazineThe Washington PostThe Chicago Tribune, and The New Yorker. She comes to Houston to read from City of Girls, her new novel set in the golden age of the theatre world in 1940s New York City that “embraces…the power of a woman breaking from a traditional path” and is “loaded with humor and insight” (Newsday). Gilbert wears many hats – “bestselling writer, matron saint of divorced women, modern symbol of follow-your-bliss wisdom” (Cosmopolitan) – and according to Jennifer Egan, “if a more likable writer than Gilbert is currently in print, I haven’t found him or her.”

Ashley Wurzbacher reads from Happy Like This
Tuesday, November 12, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Ashley will be joined by Chris Cander.
Ashley Wurzbacher’s writing has appeared in The Iowa ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewPrairie SchoonerColorado ReviewMichigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Her short story collection, Happy Like This, won the 2019 John Simmons Short Fiction Award from the University of Iowa Press. She earned her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and received fellowship support from Inprint. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and teaches creative writing at the University of Montevallo.
Chris Cander is the award-winning author of three novels, including THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO, which The New York Times Book Review called “immense, intense and imaginative.
An Evening with Hernan Diaz and Mark Haber
Wednesday, November 13, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Authors Hernan Diaz, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, and Mark Haber  will be in conversation about their books, In the Distance and Reinhardt’s Garden. Two novels that reimagine histories in both the Americas and Europe. In the Distance (one of Brazos bestselling fiction books) is a moving and incredibly original take on the American ‘western’, a contemporary classic. Reinhardt’s Garden, a dark and absurd novel about obsession, goes back and forth between early 20th century South America and Europe.
This conversation will be moderated by Taylor Davis-Van Atta. 
Addie Tsai reads from Dear Twin
Thursday, November 14, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Addie Tsai is a queer nonbinary biracial writer and artist who teaches courses in literature, creative writing, dance, and humanities at Houston Community College. She collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie received her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and she holds a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University.  Her queer Asian young adult novel, Dear Twin, will be published by Metonymy Press in Fall 2019. Her writing has been published in Banango StreetThe OffingThe CollagistThe Feminist WireNat. Brut. and elsewhere. She is Nonfiction Editor at The Grief Diaries, Assistant Fiction Editor at Anomaly, Senior Editor of Interviews and Culture at Raising Mothers, and Senior Associate Editor in Poetry at The Flexible Persona.
Poison Pen Reading Series 
Thursday, November 21, 8:30 pm
(Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer Rd)
Founded and currently organized by UH Creative Writing students and alumni, Poison Pen was voted Houston’s Best Reading Series in 2014 by the Houston Press. Poison Pen brings in three readers on the last Thursday of each month. Poison Pen’s readers are locally and nationally recognizable writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Debbie Urbanski
Friday, November 22, 7 pm
(Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main St.)
The Gulf Coast reading series presents the poetry and prose of UH graduate students, paired with prominent featured visiting writers, at Lawndale Art Center. Participating students come from the MFA and PhD programs in Creative Writing. Doors open for a cocktail reception at 6:30 pm, with the program starting at 7. 

Carolyn Dahl reads from Art Preserves What Can’t be Saved
Saturday, November 23, 3pm
(River Oaks Bookstore, 3270 Westheimer Rd)
Carolyn Dahl's poetry collection Art Preserves What Can't Be Saved was published by The Orchard Street Press in 2019. She has also written two art books and seen her poems published widely in literary journals and anthologies. In 2015, she was selected the Grand Prize Winner in an ekphrastic poetry competition co-sponsored by Houston Public Poetry and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Glass Mountain Issue #23 Launch Party 
Tuesday, December 3, 6pm
(Café Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy Street)
Glass Mountain is a national undergraduate literary magazine run by undergraduates at UH. This launch party will feature a reading by students published in Issue #23 with an open mic to follow. The open mic is open to all. Cake will be provided. Please visit for more details.

Natalie Lund reads from We Speak in Storms
Monday, January 13, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Natalie will be in conversation with Anthony Sutton.

A powerful and haunting debut novel about friendship, acceptance, and learning to let go as the balance between the living and the dead is upended, perfect for fans of We Were Liars.
Natalie Lund ( is a former middle and high school teacher. A graduate of Purdue University’s MFA program, she taught introductory composition and creative writing there, and also served as the fiction editor of The Sycamore Review. Natalie lives in Chicago with her husband. You can follow her on Twitter @nmlund.
Anthony Sutton resides on former Akokiksas, Atakapa, Karankawa, and Sana land (currently named Houston, TX) and has had poems appear or forthcoming in Rabbit Catastrophe, Gulf Coast, Grist, The Journal, Passages North, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, Quarter After Eight, Third Coast, and elsewhere.
Kate Milford reads from The Thief Knot
Tuesday, January 14, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Ghosts, a kidnapping, a crew of young detectives, and family secrets mix in this new standalone mystery set in the world of the best-selling Greenglass House, from a National Book Award nominee and Edgar Award–winning author.
Kate Milford is the New York Times bestselling author of the Edgar Award-winning, National Book Award nominee Greenglass House, as well as Ghosts of Greenglass House, Bluecrowne, The Thief Knot, and many more. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. and,
Twitter: @KateMilford
JP Gritton reads from Wyoming
Thursday, January 16, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
JP will be in covnersation with Jonathan Meyer.
It’s the tail end of the ‘80s and Shelley Cooper is in trouble. He’s broke, he’s been fired from his construction job, and his ex-wife has left him for their next door neighbor and a new life in Kansas City. The only opportunity on his horizon is fifty pounds of his brother’s high-grade marijuana, which needs to be driven from Colorado to Houston and exchanged for a lockbox full of cash. The delivery goes off without a hitch, but getting home with the money proves to be a different challenge altogether. Fueled by a grab bag of resentments and self-punishment, Shelley watches things go from bad to worse to (maybe) good enough. JP Gritton’s portrait of a hapless aspirant at odds with himself and everyone around him is both tender and ruthless, and his debut novel considers the possibility of redemption in a world that grants forgiveness grudgingly, if at all. 
JP Gritton’s awards include a Cynthia Woods Mitchell fellowship, a DisQuiet fellowship and the Inprint Donald Barthelme prize in fiction. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Greensboro Review, New Ohio Review, Southwest Review, Tin House and elsewhere. His translations of the fiction of Brazilian writer Cidinha da Silva are forthcoming in InTranslation. WYOMING is his first novel. 
Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Daniel Peña, Dave Nikityn, Madeleine Maillet, Brittny Ray
Saturday, January 18, 7pm
(Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main St.)

The Gulf Coast reading series presents the poetry and prose of UH graduate students, paired with prominent featured visiting writers, at Lawndale Art Center. Participating students come from the MFA and PhD programs in Creative Writing. Doors open for a cocktail reception at 6:30 pm, with the program starting at 7.
Two Presentations about Vassar Miller and her Poetry
January 19, and January 26, 10am
(Sanctuary, Covenant Church, 4949 Caroline) 
January 19 – This class includes a focus on Vassar’s collaboration with composer, Tom Avinger. Alto Joyce Courtois will sing one of these works based on Vassar’s poem, Without Ceremony.
January 26 – We will be considering Vassar as a religious poet, as a form poet and will touch on other aspects of her poetry, and discuss several of her poems in small groups.
Note:  Vassar was an active member at Covenant for fifteen to twenty years, where she was known, not just as a poet, but as friend, and integral member of our community. We hope to bring to those new to the Covenant community an awareness of this remarkable person and renowned poet. We welcome all from our broader community who might be interested in these sessions.

Book Launch for Roberto Tejada’s Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness
Friday, January 24, 7pm
(Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main St)
Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness is a collection of essays and manifestos engaging hemispheric desires and borderland eventualities in the geopolitical imagination of the Americas. The book enlivens a capacious Latinx poetics, spanning to include 16th- and 17th-century imperial accounts, modern and contemporary depictions of Mexico and Cuba pictured by U.S. artists and writers: a poetics of the Americas reflecting the fear and fantasies prompted by metaphors of occupation, displacement, and counter-conquest.

Roberto Tejada is the author of art histories that include National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (U Minnesota, 2009) and Celia Alvarez Muñoz (UCLA/CSRC; U Minnesota, 2009). His writings appear frequently in journals and exhibition catalogs, among them Images of the Spirit: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide (Aperture, 1996); Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (UCLA Hammer Museum, 2011) and Groups and Spaces in Mexico, Contemporary Art of the 90s: Licenciado Verdad (Mexico City, Ediciones MP, 2017). He is the author of poetry collections that include Full Foreground (Arizona, 2012), Exposition Park (Wesleyan 2010), Mirrors for Gold (2006), and selected poems in Spanish translation Todo en el ahora (2015), He is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing and Art History at the University of Houston.
Special guests Gilbert Baca, Matt Flores, and Laura Quintón are Houston-based writers and University of Houston Mellon Scholars.
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Carolyn Forché & Carmen Maria Machado
Monday, January 27, 7:30 pm 
(Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue)
Carolyn Forché comes to Houston to share her memoir What You Have Heard Is True—”astonishing, powerful, so important at this time” (Margaret Atwood)—which “narrates her role as witness in an especially explosive and precarious period in El Salvador’s history. This incredible book… marries the attentive sensibility of a master poet with the unflinching eyes of a human rights activist.” (Claudia Rankine). Forché is the author of four poetry collections, including Blue HourThe Angel of HistoryGathering the Tribes, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and The Country Between Us, in which, according to Joyce Carol Oates, Forché “like Neruda, Philip Levine, Denise Levertov and others… addresses herself to the… world.” She is also editor of the groundbreaking anthology Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, and a noted translator of poets as varied as Claribel Alegría, Georg Trakl, and Mahmoud Darwish. Forché 
Carmen Maria Machado’s “writing is always lyrical, the narration refreshingly direct, and the sex abundant” (Booklist), but with “a furious grace” (Kirkus) all her own. Machado will read from her new memoir about domestic abuse, In the Dream House, a dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that turns our ideas of what a memoir can do and be upside down. Her debut story collection Her Body and Other Parties is the “kind of book that will leave you haunted, and thrilled, by the possibilities of contemporary fiction” (Dallas Morning News) and “is full of repressed physical energy and the raw juice of annihilating female fury” (Louise Erdrich). Among its many honors, the book was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. 
Glass Mountain Reading and Open Mic
Tuesday, January 28, 7pm
(Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Road)
Glass Mountain is a national undergraduate literary magazine run by undergraduates at UH. Readings will feature a reading by students published in the most recent issue with an open mic to follow. The open mic is open to all. Please visit the Glass Mountain website for more details:
Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Lauren Berry, Phuc Luu, Annie Shepherd
Thursday, January 30, 8:30 pm
(Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer Rd)

Founded and currently organized by UH Creative Writing students and alumni, Poison Pen was voted Houston’s Best Reading Series in 2014 by the Houston Press. Poison Pen brings in three readers on the last Thursday of each month. Poison Pen’s readers are locally and nationally recognizable writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Danez Smith & the Homies
Friday, January 31, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
A magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship, Homie is rooted in their search for joy and intimacy in a time where both are scarce. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family—blood and chosen—arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is written for friends: for Danez’s, for yours.
Danez Smith is the author of Homie, Don’t Call Us Dead, winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection and a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert boy], winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. They live in Minneapolis. 
Nick Flynn reads from I Will Destroy You
Monday, February 3, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Beginning with a poem called “Confessional” and ending with a poem titled “Saint Augustine,” I Will Destroy You interrogates the potential of art to be redemptive, to remake and reform. But first the maker of art must claim responsibility for his past, his actions, his propensity to destroy others and himself. “Begin by descending,” Augustine says, and the poems delve into the deepest, most defeating parts of the self: addiction, temptation, infidelity, and repressed memory. These are poems of profound self-scrutiny and lyric intensity, jagged and probing. I Will Destroy You is an honest accounting of all that love must transcend and what we must risk for its truth.
Nick Flynn is the author of four previous poetry books, including My Feelings and Some Ether, which won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and three memoirs, including Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. He teaches at the University of Houston and lives in New York.
Defunkt Magazine Presents: Anti-Valentine Bash 
Saturday, February 8, 8pm
(Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh Dr)
A celebration of the woes of love, heartbreak, and romantic angst brought to you by the literary malcontents at Defunkt Magazine. Featured readers include Justin Janise, Paige Quiñones, and Obi Umeozor. Special musical guests Blue Lacy (Blues-rock from Austin, Texas).

Carl Phillips, Craft Talk: Pattern + Variation
Wednesday, February 12, 7pm
(University of Houston Campus, SEC Room 206) 

As part of Carl Phillips visit to UH, he will also deliver a craft talk - Pattern + Variation - on UH's main campus. Limited seating is available on a first-come first-served basis.

An Evening with Carl Phillips
Wednesday, February 12, 7pm
(Cy Twombly Gallery, 1501 Branard Street)

The Menil and the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program copresent an intimate reading with the renowned and award-winning poet, Carl Phillips. Phillips reads from a selection of his poetry collections, including his newest collection, Pale Colors in a Tall Field (FSG, March 2020). Books are available for purchase and a signing immediately follows the reading.

Carl Phillips (b. 1959, Everett, WA) is the author of 14 books of poetry, including Wild Is the Wind (FSG, 2018), winner of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, called it “haunting and contemplative as the torch song for which the collection is named.” His other recent books include Reconnaissance (2015), Silverchest (2013, nominated for the Griffin Prize), Double Shadow (2011, winner Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and finalist for the National Book Award), and Speak Low (2009, finalist for the National Book Award). Phillips is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches creative writing.

This program is free and open to the public. Limited seating in the Cy Twombly Gallery is available on a first-come first-served basis. Further information regarding accessibility and parking can be found here.

Lydia Yuknavitch reads from Verge: Stories
Wednesday, February 12, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
An eight-year-old trauma victim is enlisted as an underground courier, rushing frozen organs through the alleys of Eastern Europe. A young janitor transforms discarded objects into a fantastical, sprawling miniature city until a shocking discovery forces him to rethink his creation. A brazen child tells off a pack of schoolyard tormentors with the spirited invention of an eleventh commandment. A wounded man drives eastward, through tears and grief, toward an unexpected transcendence.

Lidia Yuknavitch’s bestselling novels The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children, and her groundbreaking memoir The Chronology of Water, have established her as one of our most urgent contemporary voices: a writer with a rare gift for tracing the jagged boundaries between art and trauma, sex and violence, destruction and survival. In Verge, her first collection of short fiction, she turns her eye to life on the margins, in all its beauty and brutality. A book of heroic grace and empathy, Verge is a viscerally powerful and moving survey of our modern heartache life.