Houston's Favorite Poems

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 6:30pm
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Houston’s Favorite Poems is an initiative of the City of Houston Poet Laureate Program affiliated with Houston Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The project is modeled on Pinsky’s national anthology, Americans’ Favorite Poems—an initiative dedicated to celebrating, documenting, and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. In spring 2016, the Houston project—with the support of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office—made a call for favorite poems to those living in Greater Houston. Of the approximately 400 poems received in response to that call, 185 poems were chosen to appear in the volume published by Calypso Editions (http://calypsoeditions.org/).

Anthology contributors are as diverse as Houston itself: Ranging in age from 18 to 87, they live throughout Greater Houston and represent more than 100 zip codes, and are or have been engaged in a wide range of occupations, such as attorneys, accountants, cattle ranchers, electricians, health professionals, musicians, scientists, teachers, woodworkers, writers, and visual artists.

The anthology includes 120 poets from across the globe. Many U.S. poets are represented, ranging in ethnic background from such African American poets to Asian American, Mexican American, Native American, and Sudanese American poets. Poems from other national and cultural origins, many of which were composed in languages other than English, also appear, for example, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Greece, El Salvador, England, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine, ancient Persia, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Somalia, and Wales. The book includes two special sections: The first celebrates the work of Houston youth studying in the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program and appears in the book’s center, and the second concludes the volume as a memorial tribute to Houston poet, Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan (1969-2016).

Houston Editorial Team

Robin Davidson, Tony Bonds, Sara Cooper, Tony Davidson, Billie Duncan, Rich Levy, Guadalupe Méndez Medina, Jasminne Méndez, Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Rajesh Ramakrishnan, Martha Serpas, Melissa Studdard, and Chris Wise.

Editor Credits

Robin Davidson, a resident of Houston for more than 50 years, was named Houston’s second Poet Laureate by Mayor Annise Parker in 2015 and served through April 2017 under the leadership of Mayor Sylvester Turner. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program and is the author of two poem chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World, and the collection Luminous Other, as well as co-translator with Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska of The New Century: Poems from the Polish of Ewa Lipska. She teaches literature and creative writing as professor of English for the University of Houston-Downtown.