Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner Invites Houstonians to Submit Their Favorite Poems

June 10, 2016 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner is inviting all Houstonians to submit their favorite poem to the City of Houston Favorite Poem Project.  A selection of the poems will be included in a commemorative printed collection and also a few Houstonians will be videotaped reading their favorite poems. Houston’s Favorite Poem Project is free and open to all Houstonians. The deadline for submissions is July 8, 2016. For more details please visit www.houstontx.gov/favoritepoemproject.html or call 832-393-1313.

The project is an initiative of the City of Houston Poet Laureate Program and is made possible with the support of University of Houston-Downtown, Calypso Editions, Houston Public Library and Inprint.

"City of Houston Poet Laureate Dr. Robin Davidson has been sharing her poems with Houston, now she wants to know what poems Houstonians love the most," said Mayor Turner. "I understand the important role the arts and humanities play in people’s lives, and I can think of no better way to celebrate that than by creating this collection of favorite poems together with the very people we serve."

“I am undertaking the Favorite Poem Project Anthology for our city to give Houstonians a chance to share their best-loved poems for a book in print,” said City of Houston Poet Laureate Dr. Robin Davidson. “I’m working with a superb team of local poets to collect the poems for the Houston anthology which will be published in spring 2017. If you’d like to be part of this city project, please consider submitting one of your own favorite poems—and be sure to tell us why this particular poem has been especially important to you! “

Poems are welcome in any language. If at all possible, an English translation is requested if submitting a piece in another language. The Houston project is modeled on former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s national project, Americans’ Favorite Poems, dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives.
Upon publication, the book will be available from Calypso Editions, Amazon, the Houston Visitors Center and at the Houston Public Library, the national Favorite Poem Project office in Boston and other library collections and bookstores.

About Houston’s Poet Laureate
Born in Trieste, Italy, to American parents, Dr. Robin Davidson is a poet, translator, and professor of English and creative writing at the University of Houston-Downtown. She holds a B.A. in French from the University of Texas at Austin, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. She is the author of Luminous Other (Ashland Poetry Press, 2013) which won the 2012 Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, as well as two chapbooks: City that Ripens on the Tree of the World (Calypso Editions) and Kneeling in the Dojo (Finishing Line Press). She is co-translator, with Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska, of The New Century: Poems by Ewa from the Polish (Northwestern University Press).

In 2003 - 2004 Dr. Davidson served as Fulbright professor of American literature at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. Her poems and translations have appeared in such American literary journals as AGNIThe Paris ReviewGulf Coast, Tampa Review91st MeridianLiterary Imagination, and Words Without Borders. She is the recipient of a 2009 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Translation. She currently teaches creative writing as professor of English for the University of Houston-Downtown, and serves as the faculty advisor for UHD’s literary and visual arts magazine, The Bayou Review. She served as president of the board of directors for the Writers in the Schools program from 2008 – 2010, and is currently a board director for the literary press Calypso Editions. She also is the recipient of a 2009 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant for her poetry.

About the Houston Poet Lauraete Program
The City of Houston Poet Laureate Program celebrates Houston’s rich culture and diversity through the work of a poet who represents Houston by creating excitement about the written and spoken word as well as outreach activities, special programs, teaching and their individual works. The role of the Houston Poet Laureate is to stimulate poetic impulse, foster appreciation of poetry in all its forms, and serve Houston residents and visitors with expressions of culture through words.

About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, four HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. With more than eight million visits per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.

For further information visit the Houston Public Library at www.houstonlibrary.org or on Twitter @houstonlibrary or call 832-393-1313.