The Austin Chronicle


Austin Is Slammin'

By Lee Nichols, April 18, 1997, Books

Austin has been selected as the host city for the 1998 National Poetry Slam. The event, tentatively scheduled for August 12-15, 1998, is expected to bring over 150 poets from at least 36 cities across North America. The Poetry Slam features team and individual competitions, and will be held in at least five local venues, with the Saturday night finals tentatively planned to be held at the Paramount Theatre. Of course, poetry aficionados can expect many offical and unoffical related events to spring up that week as well.

The 1998 National Poetry Slam Organizing Committee, to be comprised of local volunteers, will be spearheaded by Mike Henry, co-owner of the Electric Lounge and an active local performance poet; Juliette Torrez, a San Francisco-based poetry organizer who coordinated the 1994 Lollapalooza Spoken Word tour and currently directs the annual Albuquerque Poetry Festival; and Phil West, a veteran arts and entertainment writer and active local performance poet. The event will be supported, in part, by The Austin Chronicle and BookPeople.

Michener Fellows Reading

On Thursday, April 17 (today), the Huntington Art Gallery on the University of Texas campus will present First Words, a premiere reading from the Michener post-graduate Fellows of the Texas Center for Writers. Included in the 7-9pm readings are essayist and fiction writer Lori Williams, essayist and fiction writer Amy Williams, poet Jill Thomas, playwright Lisa D'Amour, and poet Sarah Wolbach. The readings will be followed by a reception in the lobby of the building. The Michener Fellowships serve as an incubator for young writers, created from a grant to UT's Master of Fine Arts program by legendary novelist James Michener and his wife Mari. The Huntington Art Gallery is located inside the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at 21st and Guadalupe.

Fiction Workshop

The San Gabriel Writers' League will host a fiction writing workshop on Saturday, April 19, 9am-noon, at the Days Inn in Georgetown. The workshop will be conducted by Houston's Anita Bunkley, author of Wild Embers, which was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the 10 best romantic novels of 1995, and other novels. For more info or to register, call Cindy at 512/863-7461.

Texana Book Group

Barnes & Noble (Westlake) introduces its Texana Book Group at 7pm on Wednesday, April 23. As the name implies, the group will focus on books about the Lone Star State; this month, the group will study John Graves' novel Goodbye to a River.

Texas Poets Celebrated

In honor of National Poetry Month, Barnes & Noble stores across Texas will host poetry readings on Saturday, April 26. A percentage of Barnes & Noble sales will go to the Borderlands Texas Poetry Review. Poets included in the Austin event, at 7pm, include W. Joe Hoppe, Albert Huffstickler, Marlys West, Susan Bright, Dave Oliphant, Sigman Byrd, Patrick Collins, Ann Marie Gordon, Annie Hartnett, David Lanham, Alyce Lottman, Andrew Osborn, David Meishen, and more.

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