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

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.


2000 Edwards
Suite 212
77007 Houston, Texas
Jan 20 2018
Book Launch and Reading: Cait Weiss Orcutt's VALLEYSPEAK
VALLEYSPEAK is both exorcism and re-enchantment. It’s also a collection of mesmerizing coming-of- age visions that emerge from the world of L.A. daughters, ‘Sweet Valley / Ophelias, who haven’t quite / drowned.’ In this world of cars, swimming pools, porn, pills, and beautiful parents distracted by their own desires, Cait Orcutt unravels secrets of addiction and abandonment that are personal, familial, and cultural. A re-angler of the ‘mind’s film, ‘ she unravels and detoxifies the Valley’s intoxicating spells as she magically re-makes them.”—Mary Szybist
“Cait Weiss Orcutt’s VALLEYSPEAK takes place in the suburbs of 1990s Los Angeles, and in the sociopolitical chaos of that time and place: the Rodney King beating, the L.A.riots, the O.J. Simpson trial. VALLEYSPEAK follows a family of four in deftly crafted poems that privilege hard truths and take the narrative and formal risks required to reveal them. This collection—part tenderness, part bared teeth—is as much about growing up as it is about breaking down. It is peak and valley. VALLEYSPEAK is an electric debut.”—Maggie Smith
“LA, money, and addiction serve as the coordinates within which the ‘girls’ of these virtuosic poems harrowingly grow up, discovering their genealogical pasts and predilections, and setting a course for their bodies and minds that will, with luck, keep them alive to the richness of their own humanity. I love the feminism of this book and I am in awe of its craft. Cait Weiss Orcutt is a seeker and a seer, and her work is the intensely lyrical performance of a ruthless narrative investigation of self in all its nakedness, permutations, and personae. The poems in VALLEYSPEAK are made of incredible muscularity, musicality, humor, intellect, and courage, and to my mind rank among the most horrific personal trauma poems around.”—Kathy Fagan
2421 Bissonnet Street
77005 Houston, Texas
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. 

1925 Elm Street
75201 Dallas, Texas

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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

see my brother-in-law with a styled shirt

in spite of his cancer below 

then a small dinner in the evening the next day

no one knows except I may be on the road

Mesquite where my father settled in '31

forty-five minutes west then a left you go in

sister Sarita waits for me on Abby Street

after decades in

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