& Supporting Members
The Poetic Den
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100 Thousand Poets
for Change is an international grassroots effort to promote
serious social, environmental and political change around
the globe by galvanizing the arts communities into using
their talents to shed light on solvable problems that plague
organization is headed by Billie Duncan and John Locke and
includes volunteers at Houston college campuses. In 2013,
Houston had one of the most active organizations in the
world with a kick-off event at UH-Downtown on the Wednesday
before the official date of the international day of
September 28 on which there were six events starting at 11am
in the morning and ending around 1am that night.
Intercultural nace en Houston, Texas como un espacio para
compartir poesia e impulsar el conocimiento de las lenguas
Intercultural was born in Houston, Texas as a place to share
poetry and promote knowledge of languages, uniting
Begun in May 2012, the Failure to Identify Series is an
occasional, itinerant, and highly-combustible series of arts
& writing events launched by Houston writer and translator
John Pluecker in 2012. The series is an experiment in
creating spaces for innovative, interdisciplinary and
risk-taking writers & artists to perform for Houston
publics, with work that pushes at the boundaries of the
“reading” format. Events have been held around Houston in
different locales: on the back patio of Kaboom Books or on
the back patio of a home in the East End or at other times
in conjunction with local organizations like Art League,
Project Row Houses, Fotofest and more. Previous events have
included such individuals as Jen Hofer, Javier Huerta,
Janice Lee, Anna Joy Springer, TC Tolbert, Boston Davis
Bostian, Douglas Kearney, Marco Antonio Huerta, Minerva
Reynosa, Sara Uribe, Lupe Méndez, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Stalina
Villarreal, Madsen Minax, CA Conrad, Ching-In Chen & María
Miranda Maloney, among others.
open reading series, hosted by Robert Clark since 1975,
usually on the first Friday of every month at Inprint House,
1520 West Main, one block south of the Menil Collection, one
block east of Mandell, in the Museum District of Houston.
Always free and open to the public. There is always an open
mic after the featured poet.
First Friday showcases Houston's top established poets as
well as emerging poetic talent.
The Gulf Coast
Poets is a chartered chapter of the Poetry Society of Texas.
Meetings are open to the public and held in Webster, Texas,
at 10:30 am in the Bay Brook Barnes & Noble (Bay Area Blvd
at I-45), on the second Saturday of most months except in
August (vacation) and October (Houston Poetry Fest). All
poets are invited to bring a poem for the Read Around Open
The mission of Gulf Coast Poets is to provide programs of
interest to members and to the public, offer workshops by
guest speakers, and further the art of poetry.
Gulf Coast Poets members, associates and corporate sponsors
are also invited to submit information about writing and
poetry meetings, book releases and poetry readings by the
20th of each month so that information may be included in
the handout at their next monthly meeting.
The core of
Houston Poetry Fest takes place the second weekend of
October at Willow Street Pump Station on the University of
Houston Downtown Campus with readings, workshops and the
selection of the Houston Poetry Fest Performance Poet of the
Other events occur at multiple locations in and around
Houston in the weeks immediately before and after the core
festival. These events include the traditional Poetry Out of
Bounds in Clear Lake, satellite readings throughout Houston
and the Houston area hosted by various poetry organizations,
and the preliminary contests for the Performance Poet of the
Slam is the original PSI certified poetry slam in the city
of Houston. Formerly known as Southmore House Poetry Slam
founded by Doug Shields in 2002, the organization became
Houston Poetry Slam in 2005 and is now headed by Brother
VIP Poetry Slam team was founded in 2009 as the H-Town Slam
Team by Marcell Murphy, Deborah “D.E.E.P.” Mouton, Seth
Walker and Vincent “Black Blues” Johnson. In 2011, the name
was changed to the Houston VIP Slam Team and the
organization became a program of Expressions-EWCOC. It’s
mission includes creating community in which writers can
come to create, practice, and sharpen their skills for the
page and the stage.
Houston VIP Slam Team offers monthly writing workshops, as
well as a monthly slam poetry competition. Our competitions
are judged by five random audience members. Those 12 poets
who favor the best with the audience over each slam season
competes in the Grand Slam at the end of March. The best
five make the National team to represent Houston at the
National Poetry Slam Competition for the year.
The mission of Inprint is to inspire readers and writers in
Houston. A nonprofit organization founded in 1983, Inprint
fulfills this mission through the nationally renowned
Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, the Cool
Brains! Reading Series for Young People, through literary
and educational activities in the community that demonstrate
the value and impact of creative writing, and through
support for the UH Creative Writing Program. Today Inprint
programs and events provide something for everyone and play
a vital role in Houston's rich and diverse cultural life.
Invisible Lines is
a poetry performance troupe dedicated to bringing original
word craft to the Houston performing arts scene. Full description
The ability to
articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it is
the hallmark of a true leader in all vocations and
avocations. Meta-Four Houston is a nonprofit organization
that encourages self-expression and literacy among Houston’s
youth through creative writing and performance. It grew out
of the Young Houston Writers 2007 - 2008 collaboration
between the Houston Chronicle and three local arts
nonprofits--DiverseWorks, Voices Breaking Boundaries, and
Writers in the Schools (WITS)--that formed to identify and
support the nascent youth spoken word community in our city.
Now part of WITS, Meta-four uses reading, writing, poetry,
and performance techniques to increase literacy, inculcate
critical thinking, integrate technology, intersect cultures,
and inspire leadership though a series of after-school and
Latino Writers Having Their Say was founded in Houston in
April of 1998 by writer Tony Diaz. The mission of Nuestra
Palabra is to promote Latino literature and literacy.
Nuestra Palabra began with monthly showcases and has grown
into a grass roots movement that has changed the world. NP
strives to cultivate and promote talent from our community
alongside literary icons. NP is the base of the pyramid for
such projects as The Latino Book and Family Festival, The
Nuestra Palabra Radio Show, the Librotraficante Movement,
MAS Texas and more.
The Poetic Den
originates innovative projects and programs and collaborates
with community partners to bring good poets and poetry to
Public Poetry's mission is to expose the public to good
poetry and to promote this art form. Public Poetry
collaborates with community partners such as The City of
Houston/Houston Public Library, The Museum of Fine
Arts-Houston and The Menil Collection to promote poetry in
public venues and to present outstanding published poets to
diverse audiences. Other collaborative partners include
Writers in the Schools WITS, News 88.7 KUHF, Classical 91.7
KUHA, Mutabilis Press and Houston Media Source.
Savannah Blue Arts
Outreach serves the Houston community through the
presentation of modern, cutting edge performance poetry
events, workshops, and youth literacy outreach. The flagship
event is the Bayou City Poetry Slam, one of the most
prestigious slams in the country which is presented at Alley
Speak!Poet is an
innovative reading and dicussion series created by Winston
Derden and Stephen Gros and produced by Chuck Wemple and
Winston Derden. It was established in 2014. Each event
consistes of two renowned Houston-area poets reading their
work followed by a moderator-led dioscussion and Q&A with
the audience. The events are free and open to the public.
Boundaries (VBB) is a multidisciplinary arts organization
dedicated to crossing borders, sustaining dialogue and
inciting social justice through art.
VBB is a grassroots nonprofit arts organization open to
artists, individuals and organizations from a multitude of
perspectives, backgrounds and countries. From a humble start
in 2000, as a grassroots literary collective organized by
Sehba Sarwar and five diverse women poets and writers
hosting readings at a local bookstore, VBB now produces more
than 10 performance events annually at local venues and
offers educational residencies and performances to local
youth and adults.
is to provide an inspiring forum for women to explore and
advance their creative development, to promote their work in
the marketplace, and to infuse the community with their
spirit of cooperation and invention.
Women in the Visual and Literary Arts
is a nurturing place for sharing and growth, where visual
artists, writers and other creatives meet in an atmosphere
of support and mutual respect.
WiVLA’s first exhibition was held in
May 1995. At that reception, 11 writers gave readings of
their works and a unique WiVLA tradition was born. Since
then, the organization has held exhibitions and readings in
galleries, museums and alternative spaces. Each month,
dynamic speakers give informative and inspiring
presentations. We invite you to join us, whether you are on
your way to becoming the writer or artist you want to be or
are already a seasoned professional.
The Word Around
Town (WAT) tour is an annual week-long poetry marathon held
in Houston at a different venue each night of the week. The
2014 Word Around Town Poetry Tour organizers are Gerald
Cedillo, Joe B, Lupe Mendez, Tanyia Johnson and Stephen Gros.
Founded in 2006 by Zelene Pineda, Joe B and Stephen Gros the
WAT tour has performed at a myriad of venues and event
spaces friendly to poetry and the arts. The list includes
notable community centers like M.E.C.A., Talento Bilingüe de
Houston and Project Row Houses, art spaces like Aerosol
Warfare and The Artery, as well as open mic staples such as
Taft Street Coffee, Bohemeo's and notsuoH.
The WAT tour introduces poets to different venues and to new
audiences in the Houston area. Now in its ninth year, poets
featured on the tour continue to range in style from
academic to slam and spoken word to experimental. The venues
showcased on the tour are just as diverse: from the local
coffee shop to community centers, bars and non profit
institutions. The WAT tour exists to entertain while
creating a forum for poets to find new audiences.
Words & Art is
a reading series of literary words inspired by art. Each reading features poetry and prose by local
poets and writers and takes place with the background of the
art as its stage. The series is organized and directed by
Mary Wemple and is a celebration of the many ways art can
Thirty years ago,
a group of creative writers wanted share the joy of stories
with children. They grabbed their pencils and paired up with
public school teachers. Together they changed the way
children experience reading and writing. The WITS program
makes learning an exciting adventure, while improving the
academic, social, and creative abilities of children.
Founders Phillip Lopate and Marv Hoffman, saw an opportunity
to capitalize on the writing talent in the University of
Houston’s Creative Writing Program--one of the best in the
country--and to provide a valuable service to area schools
in the diverse Houston community. Today, executive director
and writer Dr. Robin Reagler leads the organization, and
former WITS student Michael Pipkin leads the board of
Writespace is Houston’s new literary center. It is a
grassroots nonprofit literary arts organization founded by
writers, for writers that seeks to give writers who cannot
afford to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
degree the same high-quality training and mentorship
opportunities available through MFA programs. While other
literary arts organizations in Houston offer high-quality
writing workshops, they are known to sell out within hours
of posting, demonstrating both a high demand and a low
supply for writing workshops in the city.
The goal of Writespace is to support Houston's writers of
all experience levels and genres—literary, science fiction,
fantasy, mystery, young adult, and many others—through
low-cost writing workshops, free events such as open-mics
and readings, scholarships for writers in financial need,
and a community of support and mentorship. The staff and
instructors are all published writers with extensive
experience in the literary world.
Instructors include Adrienne Perry, editor-in-chief of
Gulf Coast, a national literary print magazine;
Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of five novels for adult and
young adult readers; Anis Shivani, renowned Houston poet,
fiction writer and critic; Katharine Shilcutt, managing
editor at Houstonia Magazine; and Karleen Koen, New
York Times-bestselling author and one of the founders of
WiVLA (Women in the Visual and Literary Arts).