The University of Houston-Victoria/American Book Review Spring Reading Series will feature five authors, ranging from one of the foremost American critics of contemporary poetry to one of the leading voices to emerge from the Chicana experience.
“The speakers we have lined up for the spring semester are nationally recognized writers who are eager to share their vast knowledge with community members and our UHV students, faculty and staff,” ABR Managing Editor Charles Alcorn said.
Poetry critic and author Marjorie Perloff will be the first speaker in the Spring Reading Series on Jan. 22. She is a professor emerita at Stanford University and is the former president of the Modern Language Association. She has spent the last semester lecturing at Oxford University. Perloff is the author of 18 books, including “Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy,” which won the Robert Penn Warren Prize for literary criticism in 2005.
Her free talk, “Unoriginal Genius: New Directions in Poetry,” will begin at noon in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV’s University West building, 3007 N. Ben Wilson. The public is invited to attend, and light refreshments will be served.
The Spring Reading Series will end on April 30 with a visit from celebrated poet, novelist, short story writer and essayist Ana Castillo. Renowned Chicano author Rudolfo Anaya has referred to Castillo as “one of our finest Chicana novelists.”
Castillo has published numerous books, including “The Mixquiahuala Letters,” for which she received the Before Columbia Foundation’s American Book Award in 1987. Her most recent work, “The Guardians: A Novel,” was published in 2007 and tracks the lives of Mexicans who illegally cross to the U.S. to work.
Other writers scheduled during the UHV/ABR Spring Reading Series:
Michael Martone, Feb. 19 – Martone is the author of eight works of fiction, including “Double-wide: Collected Fiction of Michael Martone,” “The Blue Guide to Indiana” and “Michael Martone;” two collections of nonfiction; and six edited volumes. He was awarded the 1998 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction for “The Flatness and Other Landscapes.”
John O’Brien, March 12 – O’Brien founded the Review of Contemporary Fiction in 1980. Three years later, he established the Dalkey Archive Press, which publishes books of fiction, poetry, criticism and biography. The press’s English translation of “Voices from Chernobyl” received the National Book Critics Circle Award in the general nonfiction category.
Zulfikar Ghose, April 2 – Ghose is a novelist, poet, short-story writer, autobiographer, journalist, educationalist, essayist and literary critic. He was born in Pakistan in 1935, grew up in British India and emigrated to England in 1952. He now lives in Austin. He has published 12 novels, including his most recent, “The Triple Mirror of the Self.” He also is the author of two story collections, an autobiography, six volumes of poetry and four books of literary criticism.
“The spring semester will feature a world-class group of distinguished authors who are regularly reviewed in the pages of the American Book Review,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, ABR editor/publisher and dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “The authors are excited to participate in the UHV/ABR Reading Series because word has gotten out about the warm welcome writers receive on their visits to Victoria.”
While in Victoria, the reading series authors will attend roundtable discussions with UHV faculty and students, make classroom visits to area schools, give lectures open to the community, and go to receptions hosted by Friends of ABR patrons. Past speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Oshinsky, author and Iranian refugee Farnoosh Moshiri, Mexican American author Dagoberto Gilb and American Book Award recipient Graciela Limon.
“The reading series and the American Book Review add so much to the community, and I am honored to have them based at the university,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “I encourage everyone to listen to and meet these inspiring authors.”
ABR is a nonprofit, internationally distributed literary journal that is published six times a year. It began in 1977, moved to UHV in 2007 and now has a circulation of about 8,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.
For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call Alcorn at 361-570-4100 or go to www.americanbookreview.org.