Alta Arts is pleased to kick off our new Poetry Series program featuring Houston-area poets. We are honored to have three former poets laureate presenting their works.
Robin Davidson is the author of two poem chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World, and the collections Luminous Other (Ashland Poetry Press, 2012), awarded the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, and Mrs. Schmetterling (Arrowsmith Press, 2021). Recipient of a Fulbright professorship at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and an NEA translation fellowship, she is co-translator with Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska of two volumes of Ewa Lipska’s poems from the Polish, The New Century (Northwestern UP, 2009) and Dear Ms. Schubert (Princeton University Press, 2021). Davidson served as 2015–2017 Houston Poet Laureate and edited the citywide anthology, Houston’s Favorite Poems (Calypso Editions, 2018), a citywide anthology modeled on Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project. She teaches literature and creative writing as professor emeritus of English for the University of Houston-Downtown, and she serves as a member of the national steering committee for Writers for Democratic Action and as chair of WDA’s Texas Chapter. She was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2019.
Originally from Galveston, Texas, Lupe Méndez is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of Why I Am Like Tequila (Willow Books, 2019), winner of the 2019 John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. He is the founder of Tintero Projects which works with emerging Latinx writers and other writers of color within the Texas Gulf Coast Region, with Houston as its hub. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso, he has nearly 20 years of experience as a performance poet, and his work can been seen in print and online formats including the Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast Journal, the Texas Review, the L.A. Review of Books, Split This Rock, Poetry Magazine and Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets. Méndez served as the 2022 Texas State Poet Laureate.
Avalon Hogans is a writer passionate about creative expression and social change. She is affiliated with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs as she was named the 2021-2022 Houston Youth Poet Laureate and was awarded a proclamation for a day in her name from the City of Houston (Avalon Hogans Day, November 17th) for her dedication to civil rights and social justice through her artistry. Since her laureateship, Avalon has collaborated with the Houston Rockets, the League of Women’s Voters, NASA, and more. She is a sophomore at Rice University pursuing degrees in Creative Writing, African-American Studies, and Civic Leadership. Aside from being a full-time student, Avalon is currently a fellow for the Contemporary Arts Museum through their collaboration with the Houston Freedmen’s Town Conservancy. This is Avalon’s second time taking the stage at Alta Arts as she had her librettist debut here last April in Mami Wata: Discovering Heritage Through Opera. This opera will debut in full at Rice University in the Spring of 2024. Aside from revising her opera, Avalon is also creative directing numerous productions including a fashion show and a Black History Month showcase, and she is working on a poetry/photography book.
Tickets are $10. Light refreshments served.