Public Poetry


Public Poetry Spring Series 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 2 PM
Program Place | 4th Floor
Central Library | 500 McKinney, 77002

David A. Feil headshotChoonwha Moon 

“If tomorrow you notice a dancing light on the water, / it is me, bathed in a well of well-being. / I will be a porous vessel afloat on this sensation / taking the breath of these voices in my sails.”  

From Virginia Woolf’s Last Letter to Her Sister

Autumn HayesBruno Rios

“I like the way / I like / the sound of words, / the way those words make a sound / the way I like. / I also like the way I like / the sound a wave makes, / a single wave /  in the middle of the sea,”

From The Word Nothing

Eleanor Boudreaux headshotLaurie Clements Lambeth

“In the spine and brain’s night / stars blaze all day. Enough light to search by. / If I could unzip my skull, release stars to the sky / it wouldn’t be home in here. I get by all right.”

From Upon Reading the Radiologist’s Report

Roberto Tejada headshotJordan Simpson

“I am more roadmap than tradition / Geography / Has made such a melting pot of me / I am more nomad than immigrant / I’ve been clicking my heels / For as long as I can remember”

From Jamerican

Saturday, May 7, 2016 | 2 PM
​Program Place | 4th Floor
Central Library | 500 McKinney, 77002

Emmy Pérez

“at its source / in my mouth / adobe mud / bricks in my mouth / the earth / holes, the sources / the snow /avalanches / granizo / Río Conchos de México / grandmothers’ / cueva de la olla / at our face / Tarahumara / Rarámuri / Tidal confluences / in our face.” 

From The River on our Face

Conor Bracken

“The only way to talk to the dead / is through your pillow, / ear pressed like a flower / into the novella of feathers / plucked from the promise of escape / each bird is hollowed with.”

From Elegy for a Classmate

Emily Bludworth de Barrios

“Having stumbled in a thicket / of shadowy desires /  /  One desire chooses us for a favorite /  / It stings our lips /  / If we are lucky /one desire stings our lips /   / And beckons us toward life”

From It is turbulent to be a person

Brandon Lampson

“Are the gates you live within / electrified or filmed as you sit / in a booth surrounded by screens, /  / can you breath there, / are you locked inside / a safe room or in a warm bath /  / with the curtain drawn, / fully dressed, shower head blasting?”

From Eco-tones

Saturday, June 4, 2016 | 2 PM
Program Place | 4th Floor
Central Library | 500 McKinney, 77002

Craig Butterworth 

“There is too much calm now / lingering in the air / in the corners of the room / like dust bunnies / tiny planets or galaxies of lint and dog hair / that, when the air conditioner kicks on / collect, intermingle, then / roll like tumbleweeds across the slate floor.”

From On Turning 50

Lauren Berry 

“Softly, I slip /  / the red carnation further into my throat. / There must be hundreds /  / of ways to be a girl. I’m just the kind / who has trouble parting her lips.”

From The Just-Bled Girl Refuses to Speak

David Leftwich

“A city of semblance, just the thing for growth. It’s / horizontal, broken, lavish, provides a variety of / disturbances, destinations, tests of solitude. The library / is a series of spiral staircases and empty commuter / trains. Anthems and carrier waves are the blood“ 

From the city

Christopher Michael 

“We buzzed with anticipation of judgements reached / but it was not the nectar we wanted. / Our honey is tainted, / we will swarm. /  / We will not allow the bear to spill anymore of our honey.“

From Swarm

Public Poetry is an innovative monthly library reading series bringing the public and poetry community together, and creating a buzz about poetry.

Public Poetry library events feature outstanding local and visiting poets, plus a student reading and special guests, as well as a book signing at the end of each program.

This series is a partnership between Public Poetry, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that collaborates with various community partners, and Houston Public Library. Join us for these free library programs, filled with creative language, held on the first Saturday of each month at 2 PM.