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.

Inprint Writers Workshops: offering more and doing more for the community

February 22, 2018, by

“We love meeting the wonderful aspiring writers from all walks of life who come to Inprint,” says Inprint Executive Director Rich Levy. “Some of them have been writing for a while and others are just taking a workshop as a hobby, supplementing an already busy work and family schedule. The thing that they all have in common is a desire to tell a story, whether through fiction, poetry, or personal essay. Learning how to shape one’s thoughts in writing is hard but also an exciting process, you learn so much about yourself, the world, and your place in it.”

Over the past few years, Inprint has experienced an upsurge in demand for writers workshops. Meeting this demand has been a high priority for the organization.

“These workshops have been helping Houstonians enhance their creative writing skills since 1991,” says Marilyn Jones, Inprint Associate Director who manages the Inprint Writers Workshops. “We work hard to maintain an intimate and supportive environment in each workshop, so most workshops are limited to 12 people. We also want to offer high quality workshops, so instructors are rotated regularly to avoid burn out, and all participants are asked to fill out evaluations at the end of the sessions to ensure we are meeting participants’ interests.” Continue reading

Celebrating Houston’s Favorite Poems

January 18, 2018, by

All of us have favorites, a song, a color, a book, a restaurant. But what about poems? Which poems have stayed with you over the years, which poems do you come back to and read and reread? Which poems make you think, move you to tears, or make you feel alive?

Former Houston Poet Laureate Robin Davidson took on these questions and the power that poetry can play in our lives when she initiated Houston’s Favorite Poems, now an anthology. Tonight, Thursday, January 18, 6 pm at the Julia Ideson Building, Houstonians will come together to celebrate the launch for the anthology. Click here for more information and join the celebration.

Earlier this week we caught up with Robin to talk about the project and the process of putting the anthology.

INPRINT: What inspired this project?

ROBIN DAVIDSON: Robert Pinsky first came to Houston in the early eighties to stand in for then poetry editor of The New Yorker magazine, Howard Moss, who was teaching a poetry workshop in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. I was a graduate student in that class. When Mr. Moss became ill, Pinsky stepped in as our teacher, and one assignment that was life-changing for me was the personal favorite poem anthology he asked each of us to develop. We were to choose at least ten of our favorite poems and write them out, feeling the line breaks in our hands as we wrote or typed and allowing the poems to become our own for a moment. The poems could come from any poet, language, or century, including from among our classmates’ work—what a thrilling exercise it was! I’ve kept my anthology to this day, adding to it over time, and have, for many years, asked my own students to keep such an anthology that includes a preface discussing why each poem is meaningful to them. The results are always lovely—moving and beautiful—and the poem choices are often surprising.

Continue reading

Upcoming Texas conference helps boost the careers of freelance writers

December 12, 2017, by

When someone asks you what you do for a living and you tell them you are a writer, you are often likely to receive confused and questioning responses. But what do you really do? Yes, but where do you work? How do you make money from that?

Writers are actually employed across various industries and are often at the heart of many successful businesses. Freelance writers can have thriving, lucrative, and satisfying careers. The American Society of Journalist and Authors (ASJA), which formed a Texas chapter last year, helps with this effort. ASJA’s mission is to be the voice and career resource for independent, entrepreneurial, professional nonfiction writers. Since 1948, ASJA has been giving freelance writers the confidence and connections to prosper.

On February 3, 2018, ASJA will have a day-long conference in Austin “Write In The Heart of Texas,” a day full of panels and workshops for emerging and established Continue reading

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