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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Creative Writing Department event brings Houston-area writers

Graduate and undergraduate students enjoyed the literary atmosphere of Poetry ‘ Prose on Wednesday evening at The Honors College Commons. It’s an experience for all who appreciate the art of writing.

Everyone was invited to showcase what he or she has written.

"(Poetry ‘ Prose) welcomes a mixture of usually graduate students, faculty and those interested who live in the community," host Julie Grob said.

The program has been under way for nine seasons and served as a major part of what UH offers. UH Creative Writing Program Director, Jay Kastely said that the nationally ranked Creative Writing Program at UH is beneficial to students.

"Here, UH students can hear writers on campus," Kastley said. "It brings contemporary Houston literature to the UH campus."

Kastely said students have become very interested in the program’s routine event because of the continuous positive turnout.

"The readings are usually held monthly and have become very prominent during the semester," he said.

Shifting away from the usual style of the event, special guest Brigit P. Kelly was the main reader of the evening.

Kelly, an English professor at the University of Illinois, is known for her very imaginative poetry. A noticeable theme throughout was that of death being brought to life through her words and her style of delivery. During her introduction, much consideration was taken to inform new listeners of the attitude of her work, comparing it to the Emily Dickenson’s quote, "Art is a house that wants to be haunted." It was also noted that her work to some was "so unusual,†it’s difficult to describe,"†which gave the listeners only a glimpse of subjects they could expect to hear from Kelly.

Among the pieces she read were "The Orchard" and "The Satyr’s Heart" from her major collection.

"The Orchard" in particular was from the first-person perspective, which gave Kelly interesting control over both the tone and the pace of the words.

Kelly’s talent was expressed in a sense through both her natural delivery and effortless switches between interludes and oral reading. Overall the audience was very entertained by Kelly’s mixture of passionate poetry with nostalgic instances from her time spent in Illinois with her son and her dog, Bianca.Members of the audience described her presentation and style very positively. One student said it was "dope" while another pointed out that the "provocative strategy" was what interested them most. A third member said that structure of the poems stood out to him more than anything else. Overall the consensus to Kelly’s visit was summed up by the words "incredible" and "awesome" from those who listened.

As one of the most prominent speakers at Poetry ‘ Prose, Kelly was indeed welcomed whole-heartedly by the UH Creative Writing Department, students, faculty and various members of the community in attendance.

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