Inprint awards more than $200,000 in prizes and fellowships to creative writing students in Houston

March 2, 2016, by

Who will be the James Baldwin, Jane Austen, Somerset Maugham, or J. D. Salinger of this generation? For Inprint, supporting the next generation of great writers is crucial to helping us fulfill our mission of inspiring readers and writers.

Inprint is proud to be awarding $201,500 in direct support during the 2015-2016 academic year to some of the nation’s top emerging creative writers in Houston. The money is awarded as prizes and fellowships to University of Houston Creative Writing Program (UH CWP) graduate students and a prize for an undergraduate at Rice University.

This year marks Inprint’s highest single-year amount of support for these creative writing students. Since 1983, Inprint has provided more than $3 million dollars in direct support to more than 500 students. Recipients of these fellowships and prizes are changing the face of contemporary literature and have gone on to publish books, win literary awards, serve as educators, and enrich the cultural life of Houston and other communities nationwide. The collaboration between Inprint and the UH Creative Writing Program—a community-based literary arts nonprofit and a university-based creative writing program—is unique in the country, benefiting both the writers and the Houston community. Continue reading

Matthew Salesses talks about The Hundred Year Flood and more

August 27, 2015, by

A big congratulations to Houston writer Matthew Salesses. Matthew, a current PhD candidate at the UH Creative Writing Program, has received the Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Fiction, teaches Inprint Writers Workshops and Inprint Life Writing Workshops at Houston Methodist Hospital, has served as an Inprint Poetry Busker, and can also be found live tweeting at some Inprint readings.  Matthew’s new novel The Hundred Year Flood was just published and is receiving rave reviews. He reads on Friday, August 28, 7 pm at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. All his fans are excited to hear him read. Here Inprint blogger Erika Jo Brown talks about Matthew’s new book and shares her lively email exchange with him.

salesses-hundred-year-flood-20201-cv-ft-v1As you read Matthew Salesses’s beautiful new novel, The Hundred-Year Flood, the Prague setting and “love square” may remind you of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The visceral treatment of a natural disaster may call to mind the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, especially for readers around the Gulf. The haints and spirits that follow the protagonist may suggest the hauntings of Beloved. The bewitching effects of an artist couple will delight fans of The Woman Upstairs. The novel’s compelling, phantasmagorical tone may stir up thoughts of Murakami.

With these literary constellations, Salesses has conjured up a wholly original novel, touching on the reverberations of adoption and how family secrets can affect nearly-grown children—an age of development often overlooked in this context.

Salesses is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Houston, and a regular workshop leader for Inprint. We recently emailed about his brilliant book. Continue reading

A Houston Independent Bookstore Day Celebration

May 11, 2015, by

IMG_4485On Saturday, May 2, perhaps your Facebook feed was filled with friends posting from their favorite bookstores across the country. It was a day to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, honoring those special places that pull triple duty as retail stores, community centers, and performance venues.

Of course, there’s no team like the home team, and Brazos Bookstore scheduled a day of events to please every bibliophile. The inaugural celebration packed eight hours of special events, with an agenda including family-friendly story time and crafts, a drunk coloring part for adults in homage to the new book Hemingwasted: A Loving Look at Literary Lushes, a reception for the new Shakespeare-inspired mural on the front window of the store, and more.

Mark Haber, sales floor manager at Brazos, talked to me about the benefits and opportunities of the day’s activities. “Our bookstore is truly a community center,” he enthused. “Today, I’ve seen people who wouldn’t necessarily know each other rub shoulders. It’s just a great opportunity to talk about books and be around books.” Continue reading

A literary recap of MenilFest 2015

April 25, 2015, by

IMG_4458Although the weather was cloudy and grey, spirits were bright at MenilFest 2015 last Saturday. MenilFest is a multi-pronged cultural celebration, combining an indie book fair, literary lectures, musical performances, film screenings, and more.

The indie book fair flanked the northern, eastern, and southern sides of The Menil Collection museum building, providing an opportunity for local ‘zines, publishers, authors, and nonprofit organizations (I spied Friends of the Houston Public Library, the Hare Krishna Cultural Center, and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, among others) to display their wares and welcome conversation.

There was printed matter for everyone—romances, poetry, mysteries, cookbooks, Spanish-language, spiritual, YA, and even some book-related crafts.

Brazos Bookstore touted literature by Houston-based authors, like Nick Flynn, Tony Hoagland, Lacy Johnson, Thomas McNeely, (and, in full disclosure, moiself). I spoke to Benjamin Rybeck, events coordinator, about the store’s involvement with MenilFest over the years. “We are first and foremost a community bookstore,” he explained. “We come every year to meet our neighbors.” Continue reading