A poetic night with Ada Limón and Gregory Pardlo

April 13, 2017, by

RM3_7535Last Monday, the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series welcomed poets Ada Limón and Gregory Pardlo. The poets, former classmates at NYU, have both recently been recognized: Limón’s Bright Dead Things was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. Pardlo won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for his collection Digest, and as of Thursday, a Guggenheim Fellowship. Poet Kevin Prufer, who also serves as a professor at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, moderated a discussion with both after the reading.

Limón opened with “How to Triumph Like a Girl,” in which she imagines the power of a race- winning filly’s 8-pound heart: “Don’t you want to tug my shirt and see / the huge beating genius machine / that thinks, no, it knows, / it’s going to come in first.” When Prufer asked after Limón’s performance of the piece, she referred to Frederico García Lorca’s duende, and the heightened expression embodiment can bring to the work. Many of Limón’s poems showcased the same, with lines like, “You wake some days / full of crow and shine,” and “[…] then there’s the silence that comes back, a million times bigger than me, sneaks into my bones and wails and wails and wails […]” Continue reading

A Telling Story: Lacy M. Johnson’s The Other Side, Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award

January 27, 2015, by

The Other Side Cover Galley Mech.inddLast week Houston’s literary community was buzzing. Houston writer Lacy Johnson was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for her book The Other Side: A Memoir. We are thrilled for Lacy who is an alum of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program and a former recipient of an Inprint Fondren Foundation Fellowship. Lacy now serves as University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts’ Director of Academic Initiatives. We asked Houston writer and University of Houston Creative Writing Program PhD candidate Austin Tremblay to share his thoughts about Lacy and her memoir with us.

“I have something important to tell you” is a familiar lead-in, especially for writers. We might say this to fellow storytellers, friends, family, or the stranger two barstools down, and we might mean that we have good news, a severe warning, or an epiphany. What we will always mean, though, in spite of these variables, is that we have a story to tell. And we think you, storyteller, friend, family, stranger, should listen.

I have something important to tell you: Lacy M. Johnson’s memoir, The Other Side, has been named a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. It is incredibly exciting that this work has received such a nod. It’s a harrowing book, often difficult to read due to the nature of its subject matter. And yet, it’s a heralded book, and difficult to put down. As Johnson’s website describes, The Other Side is “the haunting account of a first passionate and then abusive relationship, the events leading to Johnson’s kidnapping and imprisonment, her dramatic escape, and her hard-fought struggle to recover.” Continue reading