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Member Organizations

100 Thousand Poets for Change - Houston

Alianza Poetica Intercultural

Failure to Identify

First Friday

Gulf Coast Poets

Houston Poetry Fest

Houston Poetry Slam

Houston VIP Slam Team

Inprint

Invisible Lines

Make.Play.Speak

Meta-Four

Nuestra Palabra

Public Poetry

Savannah Blue Arts and Outreach

Speak!Poet

Voices Breaking Boundaries

Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA)

Word Around Town (Currently inactive)

Words & Art

Writers in the Schools (WITS)

Writespace

 

Click on the listed name above to get to description.
 Click on description heading to go to their website or Facebook page.

 

Supporting Members

 

Robin Davidson

Michel Hudson

Alex Wukman

Gwendolyn Zepeda


 

100 Thousand Poets for Change - Houston

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 the world.

The Houston 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.

 

Alianza Poetica Intercultural

Alianza Poetica Intercultural nace en Houston, Texas como un espacio para compartir poesia e impulsar el conocimiento de las lenguas uniendo culturas.

(Alianza Poetica Intercultural was born in Houston, Texas as a place to share poetry and promote knowledge of languages, uniting cultures.)

Failure to Identify Series

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.

First Friday

Houston's oldest 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.

Gulf Coast Poets

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 Mic.

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.

Houston Poetry Fest

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 Year.


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 Year.

Houston Poetry Slam

Houston Poetry 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 Said.

Houston VIP Slam Team

The Houston 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.

Inprint

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

Invisible Lines is a poetry performance troupe dedicated to bringing original word craft to the Houston performing arts scene. Full description pending.

Meta-Four

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 weekend programs.

Nuestra Palabra

Nuestra Palabra: 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.

Public Poetry

Public Poetry originates innovative projects and programs and collaborates with community partners to bring good poets and poetry to the public.

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 and Outreach

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 Theatre.

 

Speak!Poet

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.

Voices Breaking Boundaries

Voices Breaking 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.

Women in the Visual and Literary Arts

WIVLA's mission 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.

Word Around Town (currently inactive)

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

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 inspire us.

Writers in the Schools (WITS)

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 directors.

Writespace

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).