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Upcoming Events

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.

Houston Tells It Slant: Motherhood feat. Erin Belieu, Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Jessica Wilbanks
Friday, March 20th, 5:30-7 pm
(UH Honors College Commons, M.D. Anderson Library)

In the inaugural event for a new Houston-based reading series, a program of the Writers’ League of Texas, three writers will read work that explores motherhood in all its many facets—chaos and control, intimacy and distance, joy and fear. Following the readings, Writers’ League of Texas Executive Director Becka Oliver will moderate a panel discussion.
The event is hosted by The Honors College, University of Houston, and is made possible in part through funding from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. Parking information and directions to the Honors College are available here
(Cancelled) 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.

Poison Pen Reading Series featuring JE Lopez, Laura Biagi, Rayla Crawford
Thursday, March 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. 

Deb Olin Unferth reads from Barn 8
Friday, March 27, 6:30pm
(Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street)
Deb will be in conversation with Lacy Johnson.

A rare comic-political drama and a tour de force for our time, by the author of the acclaimed Wait Till You See Me Dance. 

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of six books. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her work has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and the Paris Review.
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 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.