Most of Houston is on spring break, but at this time of year we begin lining up our summer 2012 Inprint Writers Workshop. We are grateful and inspired by the number of Houstonians that value creative writing and sign up for these workshops. Their popularity continues to grow and demand is far surpassing supply, which of course we are thrilled about. But truth be told, we cannot take the credit for this ourselves. The real success of these workshops proceeds from the talented instructors that teach them. Our workshops instructors are amazing people, some of the city’s top writers, and they are receiving national acclaim for their talent. Luckily for us, these writers are not reclusive luddites. You will see a few of them around Houston this week.
Farnoosh Moshiri, a recipient of an Inprint Cambor Fellowship and an Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize while a graduate student at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, has taught many fiction and novel workshops for us over the years. Her opera The Bricklayer, commissioned by HGOco as part of its East + West project, premieres tomorrow at the Cullen Theater in Wortham Center, with additional performances later in the week. Inprint brought Farnoosh and her work to HGO’s attention. For showtimes and details, click here.
“I’m very excited about Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere of The Bricklayer,” says Rich Levy, Inprint Executive Director. “It’s a chamber opera with a libretto by Farnoosh and a score by a great young composer named Gregory Spears. Farnoosh is a terrific writer. The Bricklayer is based on a story from her collection The Crazy Dervish and the Pomegranate Tree. When I asked Farnoosh why she chose it as the basis for an opera, she said she didn’t—the composer and the folks at HGOco chose it—but ‘I was hoping they would choose it,’ she said. It’s a bittersweet story of life in exile, of aging, and of loss. It should be a great night.”Read more about The Bricklayer here.
Latha Viswanathan has taught many fiction workshops for us. She has lived in many places, including India, London, Manila, Montreal, Toronto, and has now been residing in Houston for many years. Her work has appeared in major literary journals and she has won several awards for her writing. Now we are excited for her because her debut collection Lingering Tide and Other Stories was just published. The 12 stories, each thoughtful and diverse, capture different aspects of the struggles of immigrants. Publishers Weekly says “Viswanathan’s debut collection—set in locales as diverse as India, Texas, and Canada—comprises twelve masterfully told tales. . .The stories are brimming with compelling and complex characters.” Latha will be reading from Lingering Tide this Saturday, March 17, 2 pm, at Brazos Bookstore.
Lacy Johnson, a past Inprint fellowship recipient while she was earning a PhD at the UH Creative Writing Program, has taught Teachers-As-Writers Workshops for Inprint. Before her UH days, according to her official bio, she worked as a cashier at WalMart, sold steaks door-to-door, and puppeteered with a traveling children’s museum. She has been published in major literary journals, and we’re thrilled to report that her debut book Trespasses: A Memoir was just published by the University of Iowa Press. The reviews have been great. “Utterly hip, while at the same time a voice from another era, Trespasses is about ‘growing up in a poor farming town in the Great Plains,’ an examination of the term ‘white trash’ through interviews, research, and memory, and an evocation of a place many of us will never see. Yet, at its heart, it is a lyric evocation of self. Plainspoken, tattooed, and brilliant, Lacy Johnson pushes the boundaries of what memoir—and, perhaps more importantly, what any of us—can be.” Well put by Nick Flynn. Lacy reads from Trespasses Monday, March 19, 7 pm, at Brazos Bookstore.
Congratulations Farnoosh, Latha, and Lacy!