Be Your Own Publisher: A Zine Fest Workshop

May 22, 2013, by

While browsing all the different stands at Houston Indie Bookfest a couple of weeks ago, one trend became quickly apparent to me – handmade books. Whether it was a literary chapbook, local zine, or hand sketched graphic novel, local writers are doing it all themselves – from content to creation.

If you’ve ever wanted to gain the skills to create your own handmade book, join Zine Fest Houston at Inprint House this Sunday for a workshop entitled Be Your Own Publisher! lead by local writer and educator, John Pluecker.

In an interview with one of Zine Fest Houston’s organizers, Stacy Kirages, she gives us more insight into Zine Fest Houston’s year of exciting and interactive programming.


Inprint: How did Zine Fest get its start? Continue reading

Reflecting on meeting James Salter

May 20, 2013, by

James Salter reads from his latest book at the Menil Collection, May 6, 2013.The first thing I did was look for him, in the flesh. The Master himself—a term I have privately used for James Salter, not because Salter has any similarity to the crazed guru in a movie with Joaquin Phoenix, but because I consider him a modern age Henry James. Salter is also a perfectionist and cool stylist. He makes the surface gleam, then cuts to the quick with perfect strokes. Even better, unlike James, Salter is not at all squeamish about sex. His characters pulsate. And his sentences are short, simple, clear. Devastating. Sit on a train with him, as in A Sport and a Pastime, and roll past fields the color of bread and people who stand and freeze in place like cows, then back to port wine stains like channel islands on a female passenger’s legs, and on, flicking through images “as if a huge deck is being shuffled. After this will come a trick. Silence, please.” But Salter is the magician. The magic is about to unfold.

“Did you see the piece in The New Yorker?” This was the man next to me at Salter’s reading for Inprint at The Menil, also fortunate enough to get a seat. The event was sold-out. The New Yorker had just run a marvelous article about Salter. “Perfect timing, right?” He was older, in an expensive sport jacket and good cologne. I felt a little guilty sitting there among the privileged, then a little better when I noticed all the twenty-somethings (I wondered how many were lit students) there to hear this eighty-seven year-old man. My neighbor’s favorite Salter book was Burning the Days, his memoir as a fighter pilot, balanced, as ever, with scenes of love—I expect of the misguided variety. Continue reading

On turning 30

May 10, 2013, by

Just 30 no nameMay 9, 2013, was Inprint’s official 30th birthday! Executive Director Rich Levy shares his thoughts about what Inprint is most proud of, what excites Inprint as it turns 30, and where the organization wants to go.

Thirty years: we are in a state of astonishment. To be honest, when I took this job 18 years ago, it was difficult to believe that the making and consumption of literature were compelling facts on the Houston cultural landscape—even with a great Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston (UH CWP). And we have done what we can to keep that program strong and to help attract some of the nation’s best emerging writers to Houston: since 1983, our fellowships and prizes to UH CWP grad students have exceeded $2.5 million and supported more than 500 of the nation’s top emerging writers.

That is a meaningful legacy for the city. These writers lead our workshops, and teach in schools and colleges and community centers throughout the region, sharing their work and skills everywhere, on stage and in bookstores and bars and coffee shops. There’s no part of the city or surrounding areas that hasn’t been touched by these writers and their work in the community. Continue reading