Inprint Staff

About Inprint Staff

The Inprint Staff is a bit nerdy, a bit quirky. They read too much, don't sleep enough, and love dark chocolate. But seriously, they are an all around great group of people. The staff include Executive Director Rich Levy, Associate Director Marilyn Jones, Development Director Ann Shaw, Communications & Community Relations Director Krupa Parikh, and Program and Development Manager Kristen Flack. If you come to Inprint events, you'll see them in action.

Houston writers come together at Writespace’s Writers’ Family Reunion

November 9, 2017, by

WritersFamilyReunionlogoWe know that Houston is home to many writers. Writespace offers members of Houston’s diverse writing community to gather annually at the Writers’ Family Reunion. This year’s Reunion comes up this Saturday, November 11, 9 am – 5 pm at Writespace in Silver Street Studios at 2000 Edwards, southeast of the Heights. We are one of the co-sponsors, along with Houstonia Magazine, ArtHouston Magazine, Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA), Houston Writers House, Public Poetry, Houston Writers Guild, Writers’ League of Texas, Grackle and Grackle. Use the code PAPERPOWER to save $20 on admission. Click here for more information. 

We had the chance to catch up with Writespace founder and director Elizabeth White-Olsen this week to ask her more about the Writers’ Family Reunion and what attendees can expect on Saturday.

INPRINT: How did the Writers Family Reunion first get started, whose idea was it, is it based on a model conducted in another city?

ELIZABETH WHITE-OLSEN: Writing can be a lonely occupation, but when writers feel embraced and supported by community, this can catapult our sense of confidence and success. At Writespace, we seek to offer a place where writers can easily come write, hone their craft, and develop new skills, while feeling celebrated and accepted. Our upcoming literary arts festival, the Writers’ Family Reunion, is designed to strengthen the local writing community by giving writers a sense of homecoming and an Continue reading

“House Rules” by Dana DuTerroil: Inprint Workshop Participants on Harvey

September 20, 2017, by

260px-Harvey_2017-08-25_2231ZThis is the final entry in a series of micro essays on Hurricane Harvey by participants in Inprint’s nonfiction workshop led by poet Cait Weiss Orcutt. She says, “Each piece serves as a proof of our city’s resilience—you can give us rain, wind, uncertainty and days of isolation, but as soon as we can find a pen, we will turn that into art.” For her full introduction and the first essay in this series, click this link.

“House Rules” by Dana DuTerroil

When you weather a storm as a couple you cannot freak out about the same things. There must be a yin and yang to the crisis. A delicate balancing act where one spouse stays calm and convinces the other one to relax without uttering the word, relax, because that will immediately escalate the situation into a full-blown, code red, Cat 5 catastrophe.

It is Sunday morning – the day after the pummeling deluge of Hurricane Harvey’s rain bands. Our home sits near the hike and bike trail leading to White Oak Bayou and my husband has been monitoring the water’s rise throughout the storm. In addition, he is keeping a watchful eye on the end of our street where the road meets I-10, which is now filled with eight lanes of water instead of traffic. I do not accompany him on these missions knowing that he will provide a full report with photographic documentation. Unfortunately, he returns from his afternoon outing with a high level of concern. Continue reading

“On the Brink of the Storm” by Stephanie Gunther Vaughan: Inprint Workshop Participants on Harvey

September 18, 2017, by

260px-Harvey_2017-08-25_2231ZOn Monday, September 11, An Open Book posted the first in a series of micro essays by participants in Inprint’s nonfiction workshop led by poet Cait Weiss Orcutt. She says, “Each piece serves as a proof of our city’s resilience—you can give us rain, wind, uncertainty and days of isolation, but as soon as we can find a pen, we will turn that into art.” For her full introduction and the first essay in this series, click this link.

 

“On the Brink of the Storm” by Stephanie Gunther Vaughan

The sun was burning the dry pavement under my bare feet as I stood at the mailbox. I was cautious not to step on the tiny camouflaged chameleons that leapt around the lower leaves of the vines that curled endlessly around the gate, where the mailbox was hinged. The competing green and brown lizards scurried by my freshly painted toes, seeking a new refuge. I stared up at the reaching arms of the once young oak tree that stretched above me, its protective branches covering most of our front yard.  Only 13 years in this house, a chapter in mine, a short lifetime of my oldest daughter. Continue reading

“Harvey” by Mike Nichols: Inprint Workshop Participants on Harvey

September 18, 2017, by

260px-Harvey_2017-08-25_2231ZOn Monday, September 11, An Open Book posted the first in a series of micro essays by participants in Inprint’s nonfiction workshop led by poet Cait Weiss. She says, “Each piece serves as a proof of our city’s resilience—you can give us rain, wind, uncertainty and days of isolation, but as soon as we can find a pen, we will turn that into art.” For her full introduction and the first essay in this series, click this link.

“Harvey” by Mike Nichols

As the wind and rains on the dirty side of Hurricane Harvey increased, I sat on the wet tiles of the front porch of our sturdy house on the south shores of Lake Livingston in San Jacinto County. All of the outdoor furniture had been moved to the safety of the basement or garage.  I watched the strong waves break over the dock and over the ten-foot concrete apron across an expanse of lawn moving nearer and nearer to the porch stairs. I knew the power of these waves, punching with eight pounds of force for every cubic foot of churning water overflowing its banks and its iron bulkheads in this ninety thousand acres lake. I had seen the result of Hurricane Ike tearing the roof off our next-door neighbor’s house and destroying our dock. I was powerless against the whims of Hurricane Harvey. All I could do was watch and wait. 

As my stomach churned with fear, I thought about the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot – Sukkot was a precursor of American Thanksgiving, a festival thanking God for the bounties of the fall harvest. Jewish tradition mandates that during Sukkot, families must eat their meals and sleep under an arbor.  The ritual requires the arbor to be temporary, without walls, and with a lattice roof through which the family can see the night stars.  The liturgy reminds Jews of our time in the wilderness living as nomads in fragile structures.  I always understood Sukkot as a physical reminder for us to have compassion for everyone in the world who lives without the security of a stable home and community and as a reminder that we are responsible to help those people who live in fragile circumstances because of their economic, social, political, or immigration status. Continue reading

“Overwhelming Oddity” by Phyllis Robinson: Inprint Workshop Participants on Harvey

September 12, 2017, by

260px-Harvey_2017-08-25_2231ZYesterday, An Open Book posted the first in a series of micro essays by participants in Inprint’s nonfiction workshop led by poet Cait Weiss Orcutt. She says, “Each piece serves as a proof of our city’s resilience—you can give us rain, wind, uncertainty and days of isolation, but as soon as we can find a pen, we will turn that into art.” For her full introduction and the first essay in this series, click this link.

“Overwhelming Oddity” by Phyllis Robinson

“The Teacher Jesus said, ‘The man who hears what I teach but does not do it is like a man who builds his house on dirt. The dirt is soft, and when the rain comes and the wind blows, the house falls down and all his work is lost.’” –Kate McCord

Sometimes, rain offers lovely, vibrantly fresh surprises like the blooming of grandma’s Oxblood Lilies handed down to me by my mother. They grew outside my grandmother’s favorite sitting spot where she could always enjoy the bounty nature offered. The crimson hue closely resembled the red cardinals that fascinated her as she gazed outside from her perch through the bubble-flicked glass panes of the white frame house my great-grandparents had once called home. The cardinals visited frequently pecking at will and flocking to cover the spread beneath the billowy boughs of ripened fruit-filled cascades overwhelming the branches of her favorite pear tree. Continue reading

“Getting Undammed” by Paige Hassall: Inprint workshop participants write micro essays after the storm

September 10, 2017, by

260px-Harvey_2017-08-25_2231ZCait Weiss Orcutt teaches Inprint’s Personal Essay Workshop which started on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 6. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Chautauqua, FIELD, Tupelo Quarterly & more. She is founder of the Writers Guild Community Creative Writing Workshops in Columbus, Ohio, Editorial Advisory Board Member of Mad River’s Slash Prize, and Online Editor of The Journal. A recipient of an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor/MD Anderson Foundation Fellowship, she is a graduate student at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. Here Cait talks about the first workshop gathering.

Cait Weiss Orcutt: This past week, our Personal Essay workshop met for the first time. I had come to class planning to talk craft—what is Creative Non Fiction, for instance, and what (or who) makes “fact” fact? Instead, it quickly became apparent that, while the sky outside was clear and blue, the class was still caught in the storm.

And why shouldn’t they have been? Why should we force ourselves to pretend we’re okay? If writing is about honesty, why lie about what is really weighing down our thoughts, troubling our dreams and hurting our hearts. An enormous, historic disruption occurred—and for many, if not all of us here in Houston and beyond, the recovery effort contains its own disruption, grief and trauma. How can we write anything “personal” without sharing what we’re going through? Continue reading

Houston Veteran Authors Share Their Stories About the Forever War

June 19, 2017, by

Bigger Forever WarAs many of us know, writers are the true chroniclers of our history. Through their written pieces we learn about the complexities and varied lived experiences of a particular time and place. And often times—more than facts and figures—the stories, voices, challenges, and emotions of a character or a scenario stay with us long past the written piece has ended.

On Thursday, Brazos Bookstore presents a panel discussion about war fiction with three contributors to the 2017 veteran fiction anthology The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War. American troops have been on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan for over a decade. This anthology, including the stories of more than 20 diverse veteran writers, gives readers a look at the aftereffects of the war, a war that continues on today. Kirkus Reviews calls it “an anthology of stories covering a literary terrain as expansive as the seemingly endless ‘war on terror’ that spawned it. These stories provide plenty of revelation on the nature of the war and the soldiers who continue to fight it.” According to Task & Purpose, the anthology “captures the truth about war better than nonfiction. It’s possible―likely even―that these pages from a handful of writers will come to define the warrior perspective for this generation. For that reason, this book is relevant. Its stories are tragic, moving, violent, and devastating, but not always in the ways one expects. It’s enough to enlighten those most insulated from the war.”

We asked Michael Carson, one of the contributors to the anthology who will be at Brazos on Thursday, a few questions about this project. Continue reading

Gulf Coast celebrates 30 years at Lawndale Art Center

January 21, 2017, by

GC 30th Anniversary - Smith readingThis week we talked to poet, Inprint blogger, and University of Houston Creative Program graduate student Erika Jo Brown about Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature & Fine Arts’ 30th anniversary celebration coming up Saturday, January 21, 7 pm, Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main Street. Since its inception, Inprint has been proud to support Gulf Coast, one of the nation’s reputed literary journals, which also holds readings and other activities. 

INPRINT: Congratulations on 30 years! For our readers that do not know a lot about Gulf Coast, please tell us about the journal, the organization, and all of the things you do.

ERIKA: Thank you! I’m pleased to work for Gulf Coast as a poetry editor and the reading series curator.  Gulf Coast was founded by Donald Barthelme and Phillip Lopate. We’re an arts and literary journal, run by very dedicated graduate students in the University of Houston Creative Writing Program (UH CWP). The print journal comes out each April and October. Recently, Gulf Coast merged with Art Lies. Unlike many lit journals, we’re committed to exploring visual art criticism, scholarship, and dialogues.  Continue reading

A Sacred Space

October 6, 2016, by

On Friday, October 7, Inprint is launching a new program, the Inprint Writing Cafe. From 9 am – 12 pm on the first Friday of every month, we will transform our workshop/meeting/readings space into a writing cafe, where all writers can come and spend the morning writing in the pleasant Menil neighborhood with the company of other writers. 

small Ernie Williams croppedWe are proud to present this essay, which came our way a few weeks ago and celebrates the power of people coming together as writers, by Ernie Williams. Ernie Williams, who works in the HVAC industry, has taken a number of Inprint workshops, in several genres, but he has found his deepest connection with the personal essay. 

A room in an old house.  A well-worn wooden floor.  In the center of the room stand two substantial wooden tables, surrounded by twelve chairs.  The pale green walls are adorned with posters advertising literary events of long ago.  The late afternoon sun peeks through the blinds, bathing this silent space in a harsh light.  When this room sits empty, it is nothing, just four walls and a ceiling.  But when people enter this space, it becomes something else entirely.

Five years ago I sat in this very room, and as a group of strangers slowly trickled in, I wondered just what I had gotten myself into.  I pretended to be something I was not, and these people were sure to expose me as a fraud.  But that didn’t happen.  Over the course of ten weeks I fell in love.  With writing.  Everything changed.  It didn’t matter if people found out I didn’t know what I was doing.  I discovered I could mine my own life and create something worth reading. Continue reading

Over 100 authors featured at upcoming first Lone Star Book Festival

April 7, 2016, by

Lone Star Book Festival copyThis weekend more than one hundred nationally and internationally known authors will be featured as part of the first annual Lone Star Book Festival. Nothing like the Lone Star Book Festival exists in the area and the festival will have something for everyone. We had a chance to interview John Barr, one of the festival’s key organizers and founder, about the exciting weekend ahead and how the festival came into being. 

INPRINT: What inspired you to put this festival together?

JOHN BARR: Well, we have always loved reading and books and think it is vital for a healthy society to read. Also, the Kingwood campus is, we believe, a beautiful venue for a book festival. Lastly, we thought that it was time for Houston to have a multi-genre book festival.

INPRINT: What can attendees expect from the two days?

BARR: Attendees can expect to find a diverse group of authors from across the country willing and wanting to discuss their newest books, sign autographs, and chat with audience members. In addition, on the campus quad, attendees will find Brazos Bookstore selling books, music being played, and exhibitors including literary presses, local organizations focused on literacy, publishers, and many local authors. Continue reading