Houston’s poetry scene continues to grow and that is definitely something to be proud of. This Sunday, the 2013 Word Around Town, often called WAT?!, kicks off. The week of poetry readings held at different venues throughout the city runs from August 4 – 10th. And Inprint is excited to host it on Monday, August 5th, when WAT?! comes to Inprint House.
We asked one of the lead organizers of WAT?!, Stephen Gros, to talk to us about how the series got started and what’s in store for this coming week.
Inprint: How did WAT?! get started?
Stephen: WAT?! kicked off it’s inaugural tour in the summer of 2006 with 12 poets. It was an incredible achievement and was completely unprecedented in the city of Houston, whose open mic poetry community was not particularly cohesive or inclusive. At the time poets were loyal to their local open mic and most poets didn’t go to the other open mics around town. Zelene Pineda’s ground-breaking idea for an inner city tour that would highlight Houston’s diverse and talented poets while introducing them to new venues and audiences was a concept desperately needed. She brought the concept to renowned DJ and lyricist Joe B and myself. At the time, I was an open mic host and co-founder of Panhandler Publishing, and with our combined knowledge and connections we put together the first tour. Essentially we strung together the major open mics of the time, Taft Street Coffee, Helios, Gs & Zs, Mocha Life and others. To noone’s surprise the tour was an unmitigated success that continues to grow and mature with every year. Continue reading