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Upcoming Events

Pam Houston reads from Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country
Tuesday, February 18, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
 
On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston’s sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.
 
In essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Deep Creek delivers Houston’s most profound meditations yet on how “to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief… to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive.”

Poetry & Prose featuring Robert Boswell + francine harris
Wednesday, February 19, 5:30 pm
(MD Anderson Library, Honors Commons, UH Campus)
Poetry & Prose is a reading series featuring UH faculty, students, alumni and other well-known writers, that happens right here on campus.
Readings are free and open to the public. Light refreshments are served.

The series is presented by the University of Houston Libraries, in cooperation with the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Kazim Ali, Daniel Tompkins, Laura Biagi, Chris Flakus
Friday, February 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.
 
Sarah Rose Etter reads from The Book of X
Friday, February 21, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Sarah Rose Etter will be joined by Amelia Gray.
 
Sarah Rose Etter is the author of Tongue Party (Caketrain Press). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The CutElectric LiteratureVICEGuernicaPhiladelphia Weekly, and more. She is the recipient of writing residencies at the Disquiet International Program in Portugal, and the Gullkistan Creative Program in Iceland. She earned her MFA from Rosemont College. She lives in Austin, TX.
 
Amelia Gray is the author of five books, most recently Isadora (FSG). Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is a winner of the NYPL Young Lion and of FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for a WGA Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. As a screenwriter, she has written for the shows Maniac and Mr. Robot. She lives in Los Angeles.
 
Glass Mountain Reading and Open Mic
Tuesday, February 25, 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: https://glassmountainmag.com/

Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Sadie Hoagland, Aris Brown, Bruno Rios
Thursday, February 27, 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.

An Evening with Patrick Stockwell and Jennifer Sperry Steinorth
Saturday, February 29, 6:30 pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
 
Patrick Stockwell is a native of Houston, Texas. He holds an MFA in Fiction from New Mexico State University and works as Literary Programs director for Gemini Ink, San Antonio’s Literary Arts Center.
 
Jennifer Sperry Steinorth is a poet, educator, interdisciplinary artist, and licensed builder. Her poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Colorado Review, The Journal, jubilat, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Quarterly West and elsewhere. She has received grants from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, The Vermont Studio Center, Warren Wilson College where she received her MFA in poetry, and The Bear River Writers’ Conference. In 2016 she was the Writers@Work Poetry Fellow selected by Tarfia Faizullah and won the Connecticut River Review Poetry Prize judged by Penelope Pellizon. Her first full-length book, A Wake in Nine Shades, a finalist for the Hillary Gravendyke prize, the Barrow Street Prize and Press 53 open read, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press in autumn of 2019. A hybrid text of visual poetry/erasure is forthcoming from Texas Review Press, Spring of 2021.
 
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Louise Erdrich
Monday, March 9, 7:30 pm 
(Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue)
 
Louise Erdrich is one of the most revered novelists of our time. Influenced by a community of storytellers and rooted in Ojibwe myths and legends, Erdrich – author of 15 novels, plus volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood – has “remained true to her Native ancestors’ mythic and artistic visions while writing fiction that candidly explores the cultural issues facing modern-day Native Americans and mixed heritage Americans” (The Poetry Foundation). Her book The Round House, winner of the National Book Award for fiction, is a “powerful novel” that showcases Erdrich’s “extraordinary ability to delineate the ties of love, resentment, need, duty, and sympathy that bind families together” (The New York Times), with “stunning language that recalls shades of Faulkner, García Márquez, and Toni Morrison” (USA Today). Her novel The Plague of Doves received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and both her novel LaRose – which The New York Times called “incandescent” – and her debut Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. She also was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Erdrich comes to Houston to share her forthcoming novel The Night Watchman, based on the extraordinary life of Erdrich’s grandfather, who as a working man carried on the fight against Native dispossession. She lives in Minnesota and is owner of the independent bookstore Birchbark Books.
 
Ronaldo Wilson: Artist in Residence, UH Creative Writing Program 
Monday-Friday, March 9-13
(Various locations to be determined) 
 
In advance of his performance for CounterCurrent 2020 (NOMANSLAND: DEFENSE/DEFENSE, Thursday-Friday, 4/16-17), poet Ronaldo Wilson will be in residency as the UH Creative Writing Program–Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center visiting artist. Wilson’s performance will "interrogate questions of form and space, making palpable the bl/OwnaR/kC body as marked, held, and worked out at the tennis court, in studio, on paper, across screens, not imprisoned, painting, drawing, dancing, singing, as might be pure graphite.  What desires of race, of country, of sex, drive my approach?—I seek images and conversation to study, improvise—and find y/our records and mines to invent vocabularies, however nascent to split us where we should not/be."  Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White ManPoems of the Black ObjectFarther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other, and Lucy 72.  Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a mixed media artist, and performer. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing and Literature, and Principal Faculty of CRES (Critical Race and Ethnic Studies) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 
 
Renee Gladman: A Lecture of Lines
Thursday, March 12, 7 pm

(The Menil Drawing Institute, 1412 W. Main St)
 
A Lecture of Lines: In every kind of mark—intentional or stray—exists an aspect of inscription, and within this inscription unfolds the story of three intertwining acts: thinking, living, and reading. Renee Gladman, author of numerous prose works and drawer of hundreds of paragraph architectures, will present a lecture of wander, taking into account the lines, smudges, faints, and swathes of Cy Twombly’s Treatise on the Veil as well as those occurring in works by Julie Mehretu, Christine Aye Tjoe, and Brice Marden.
 
Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Melissa Barrett, Katie Milligan, Daniel kennedy, Liza Watkins
Saturday, March 20, 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.
 
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Reginald Dwayne Betts & Natalie Diaz
Monday, March 23, 7:30 pm 
(Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue)
 
Reginald Dwayne Betts comes to Houston to share his new poetry collection Felon, “bracing, revelatory work” (Mitchell S. Jackson) that animates what it means to be a “felon,” while confronting the smear of post-incarceration and prison as a force that enacts a lifetime of pressure. He is the author of two other poetry collections – Bastards of the Reagan Era and Shahid Reads His Own Palm – and A Question of Freedom, his NAACP Image Award-winning memoir, a searing, uplifting story that follows a nine-year prison sentence (starting when he was 16) and his resoluteness against being reduced to the 30 seconds he held a gun in his hand. With more than “just a powerful story to tell,” Jericho Brown calls Betts “a true poet who can write a ghazal that sings, howls, rhymes, and resonates in memory.” He is a graduate of Yale Law School and received an MFA from Warren Wilson College.
 
Natlaie Diaz, born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village, is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her debut collection When My Brother Was an Aztec, which won an American Book Award, draws upon reservation folklore, pop culture, fractured gospels, and her brother’s addiction to methamphetamine in a delicate balance of stark intimacy and gorgeous lyricism. Among her other honors, Diaz has received a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship, as well as the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the Native Arts Council Foundation. She comes to Houston to read from her new collection Postcolonial Love Poem, which, according to Adrian Matejka, “elegantly negotiates experience, tradition, and myth” and demonstrates that she is “a poet who understands tradition but is not beholden to it.” Diaz teaches at the Arizona State University Creative Writing MFA program.
 
Margaret Randall: I Never Left Home: Poet, Feminist, Revolutionary 
Tuesday, March 31, 6:30pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)

In 1969 poet and revolutionary Margaret Randall was forced underground when the Mexican government cracked down on all those who took part in the 1968 student movement. Needing to leave the country, she sent her four young children alone to Cuba while she scrambled to find safe passage out of Mexico. In I Never Left Home, Randall recounts her harrowing escape and the other extraordinary stories from her life and career. From living among New York’s abstract expressionists in the mid-1950s as a young woman to working in the Nicaraguan Ministry of Culture to instill revolutionary values in the media during the Sandanista movement, the story of Randall’s life reads like a Hollywood production. Along the way, she edited a bilingual literary journal in Mexico City, befriended Cuban revolutionaries, raised a family, came out as a lesbian, taught college, and has written over 150 books. 
 
Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring D.A. Powell, Justin Jannise. Paige Quiñones, Robbie Howell
Saturday, April 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.
 
Glass Mountain Issue #24 Launch Party 
Wednesday, April 22, 6pm
(Univ of Houston, MD Anderson Library, Honors Commons)
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 https://glassmountainmag.com/ for more details.

Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Emily St. John Mandel & Colum McCann
Monday, April 27, 7:30 pm 
(Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue)
 
Emily St. John Mandel is author of the bestselling novel Station Eleven, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award, and named a best book of the year by The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Buzzfeed, Time, and more. Translated into 32 languages, The New York Times called it “spine tingling [and] ingenious,” Ann Patchett described it as “so compelling, so fearlessly imagined, that I wouldn’t have put it down for anything,” and George R.R. Martin praised it for being “beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac…. A book that I will long remember and return to.” Emma Straub calls Mandel’s work “astonishing.” Her earlier novels include The Lola QuartetThe Singer’s Gun, and Last Night in Montreal. Mandel comes to Houston with her new novel The Glass Hotel, a story of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise.
 
Colum McCann’s gift is “finding grace in grief” and “magic in the mundane” (San Francisco Chronicle). Dave Eggers called McCann’s international bestseller Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award, “a gorgeous book, multilayered and deeply felt, and … fun to read, too. Leave it to an Irishman to write one of the greatest-ever novels about New York.” The Seattle Times praised it as “dizzyingly satisfying.” McCann is also the author of the novels DancerSongdogsThis Side of BrightnessZoli, and TransAtlantic, longlisted for the Booker Prize, plus two story collections, including the acclaimed Thirteen Ways of Looking. He is also co-founder of Narrative 4, the nonprofit global story exchange organization. McCann comes to Houston with his new novel Apeirogon, set in Jerusalem, which tells an epic story rooted in the real-life friendship between two men – one Palestinian, one Israeli – who are united by loss.
 
Boldface Writers’ Conference
Monday, May 18 – Friday, May 22
(UH Honors College)

The Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers was founded in 2009 by the editors of Glass Mountain, the undergraduate literary magazine at the University of Houston, as a conference devoted exclusively to developing writers (i.e., anyone who has not studied creative writing at the graduate level).Community members and visitors from around the country join us for a week of workshops, craft talks, master classes, and readings. https://www.boldfaceconference.com/