Texas

The current state poet laureate of Texas is Jenny Browne, who was appointed in 2017 and is serving a one-year term. Browne is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Dear Stranger (University of Tampa Press, 2013). She received the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America, as well as several fellowships from the National Endowment of Arts and the San Antonio Artist Foundation. Browne currently teaches creative writing, environmental literature, and women and gender studies at Trinity University in San Antonio.

upcoming events

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Mar 17 2018
2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam

The Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWps) is a four day poetry festival celebrating women's voices, in which 96 of the best female-identified poets in slam will compete against each other in order to crown the Women of the World Poetry Slam champion. In this event, poets compete in preliminary competitions (referred to as “bouts”) over two nights. The poets with the top 14 scores from those days move on to Finals, where one poet is crowned the champion!

In addition to the competition, each day of the festival features poetry workshops, themed open mics, special nighttime events, and parties. Taking place March 15th - 17th in multiple venues in Dallas, the top poets will go on to finals at Majestic Theater to compete for the title of The 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion! Competition at WOWps is limited to poets who live their lives as women, which includes female assigned or identified individuals (including gender non-conforming or non-binary individuals) who are 18+ years of age.  All competing poets must be individual members of Poetry Slam, Inc. 

9:00pm
1925 Elm Street
75201 Dallas, Texas
Feb 25 2018
The Journey of Poetry

INSTRUCTOR: Leslie Contreras Schwartz 
TIME: Sundays, February 25th, March 4th, 18th, 25th, 3-6 PM
PRICE: Early-Bird Price $150 for Writespace members, $180 for non-members; After Tuesday, February 20th, $180 for Writespace members, $210 for non-members. 

register

Poetry uses language in a way that is not available to us in everyday life. As with a song, a poem can elevate and capture a specific experience--an image, memory, or sensation--and connect people in a powerful way. Whether you are a practiced poet or a total “newbie” who has just wondered what poetry is “about,” this workshop will provide a jump start to get you into a writing practice.Come join us in a supportive, inspiring workshop environment in which we will explore found poetry, song lyrics, spoken word, and literary poetry from a wide range of contemporary authors. We will also study a broad array of craft techniques, including how to use line breaks, stanzas, and sound to heighten meaning. Writers from marginalized communities (writers of color, writers with disabilities, writer from the queer and LGBT community) are encouraged to attend

4:00pm
2000 Edwards
Suite 212
77450 Houston, Texas
Feb 18 2018
From the Page to the Stage: How to Read Your Writing Aloud

INSTRUCTOR: Cynthia Childress
TIME: Sunday, February 18th, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM, with a lunch break

Do you shy away from open mics because you don’t like the sound of your voice? Do you wish you could read your own writing with more confidence? Do you wonder how other writers can so effortlessly impact and connect with a live audience?

In the first half of the day, we will workshop our writing by reading aloud and listening for moments when the words lose their music. We will also investigate our goals for listeners and make sure these goals are reflected in the work. After lunch, we will choreograph the delivery of our writing by considering speaker and audience to determine tone, dramatic shifts, necessary pauses, moments to intensify emotion, and strategic gestures. Then we’ll end the day with a reading of our revised work. You will leave with a unique set of revision skills and all the tools you need to read your writing aloud.

Register

10:30am
2000 Edwards
Suite 212
77007 Houston, Texas

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poems

poem
I never knew them all, just hummed
and thrummed my fingers with the radio,
driving five hundred miles to Austin.
Her arms held all the songs I needed.
Our boots kept time with fiddles
and the charming sobs of blondes,

the whine of steel guitars
sliding us down in deer-hide chairs
when jukebox music was over.
poem

Old fang-in-the-boot trick. Five-chambered
asp. Pit organ and puff adder. Can live
in any medium save ice. Charmed by the flute
or the first thunderstorm in spring, drowsy
heart stirs from the cistern, the hibernaculum,
the wintering den of stars. Smells like the cucumber
served

poem
Jim

You looked Texas today
road hard, scrubbed brush, blown tires
gasoline islands

But later California returned—fortune’s poster child
radiating. Truck full of gas,
cheap camera in the glove compartment
stuffed toys on the dashboard,
beads on the steering wheel,
a pretty girl’s