All poets who are featured at the monthly Public Poetry reading series are invited by a Nominating Committee. Nominating Committees consist of volunteers who serve for one year and then appoint their successors. Current committee members are listed below. Committees are also convened for special events and projects.
Library Series Nominating Committee (April 2016 – March 2017)
Hayan Charara is the author of three poetry books, Something Sinister (Carnegie Mellon, 2016), The Sadness of Others (Carnegie Mellon, 2006) and The Alchemist’s Diary (Hanging Loose, 2001). He also edited Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry (University of Arkansas, 2008), and his children’s book, The Three Lucys (Lee & Low Books, 2015), received the New Voices Award Honor. Obtaining a PhD from the University of Houston’s Literature and Creative Writing Program, he has taught at the university level since 1998.
Deborah “D.E.E.P. Mouton is an internationally-known poet/vocalist/songwriter. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and a M.Ed from the University of St. Thomas, and is a certified teacher and the head coach of the Houston VIP National Poetry Slam Team. She has traveled across the continent writing, performing, and leading workshops. In 2008, she was ranked as the #2 Best Female Performance Poet in the World. She has also been a Juried Poet for the Houston Poetry Festival (2012), a Finalist for the Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam (2013), and a Finalist for Houston Poet Laureate (2015).She currently works at WITS.
Dawn Pendergast is the author of 5 chapbooks. and the founding editor of LRL Textile Series, a micro-press with a mission to publish experimental poetry and translations, one chapbook at a time.
Fran Sanders is founding director of Public Poetry. She read poetry on the radio for Taping for the Blind for 16 years (1995-2011), and produced over 400 programs that aired twice weekly. She also hosted 60 poets for the purpose of creating an audio archive (2009 and 2011). Prior to establishing Public Poetry in 2011, she worked with a variety of arts non-profit organizations in various capacities.
Roberto Tejada is author of the poetry collections Full Foreground (Arizona, 2012), Exposition Park (Wesleyan, 2010), and Mirrors for Gold (Krupskaya, 2006). A translator, editor, essayist, photography historian, and critic, his multifaceted cultural studies and creative activities have been recognized with numerous fellowships and grants including awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, Creative Capital Warhol Foundation among others. He teaches in the creative writing department at the University of Houston.
Library Series Nominating Committee (April 2015 – March 2016)
Library Series Nominating Committee (April 2014 – March 2015)
Scott Chalupa writes to live in Houston, TX. For three years he served as poetry editor and Co-Editor for Glass Mountain, the award-winning undergraduate journal at UH. Each May from 2011-2014 he staffed Boldface: A Conference for Emerging Writers. Outside UH circles, he has taught two poetry workshops for the Houston Alzheimer’s Association and workshops on the craft of reading to an audience for both SpeakOut (a 2013 Pride month event hosted by Houston Public Library’s LGBT committee) and the 2013 Houston Poetry Fest, for which he was also a juried poet. In Mexico, he taught a workshop to primeria English teachers in Cuernavaca. His work has appeared on KUHF’sThe Front Row, and in Alitheia, the Nexus chapbook and the 3013 Houston Poetry Fest anthology, and is forthcoming in Houston & Nomadic Voices magazine. He was also a featured poet in Public Poetry’s library reading series.
Kay Cosgrove was awarded the John B. Santoianni Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2011, was the winner of the 2013 Writers Under 30 contest from The Westchester Review, and was a finalist for the 2013 New South Writing Contest. Her poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Barrow Street, Conduit, EPOC Magazine Gulf Coast, Sonora Review and the American Book Review, among others. She is currently a doctoral student in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing & Literature program, where she serves as a poetry editor for Gulf Coast.
Robin Davidson, born in Trieste, Italy to American parents, holds a BA in French from the University of Texas at Austin, and MA and PhD degrees in creative writing from the University of Houston. Her debut collection of poems, Luminous Other, (Ashland Poetry Press) won the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, and she has authored two chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World. Her poems and translations have appeared in literary journals such as The Paris Review, AGNI, Words Without Borders, 91st Meridian, Tampa Review, Poet Lore, quarrtsiluni, as well as Fraza, a Polish literary journal. She served as a Fulbright scholar at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and her book, The New Century: Ewa Lipska, translated from the Polish with Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska was published by Northwestern University Press. She is the recipient of an NEA fellowship in translation, two Houston Arts Alliance awards in poetry, the Abiko International Poetry Prize in Japan and was named of Houston’s 100 Creatives. She currently teaches creative writing as an associate professor of English at the University of Houston-Downtown.
Stephen Gros is a poet, spoken word performer, artist and event producer from Texas. Stephen is a founding member of several Houston literary groups including Panhandler Publishing, and the Art Institute of Houston’s poetry Club. He is also a founding member, host, and organizer of the annual Word Around Town tour since 2006, of an ekphrastic showcase, FabriFaction: A FotoFest Special Event, and co-director of KeroacFest, as well as being the curator and host of the popular ThoughtCrime Poetry Series. In addition to performing all over Texas, he has toured in Jamaica and New York City. His work has appeared in journals and anthologies including The Bayou Review, The Beatest State In the Union: An Anthology of Beat Texas Writers and the Austin International Poetry Festival Anthology.
Fran Sanders: Public Poetry’s foundering director, has worked with arts non-profits for 25+ years, serving as a director, board member, administrator and volunteer. For 16 years, from 1995-2011, she volunteered to produce The Poets’ Corner at Taping for the Blind/Sight Into Sound studios, originating 400 bi-monthly radio programs for the visually impaired. In 2009, she established an audio archive of poetry, recording 60 local and visiting poets reading their own poetry. She launched Public Poetry, now a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in April 2011.
Melissa Studdard is the author of My Yehidah, The Tiferet Talk Interviews, and the bestselling novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, January Magazine’s best children’s books of the year, The Reader’s Favorite Award, and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Her poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, is forthcoming from Saint Julian Press. Her short writings have appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, and she currently serves as a reviewer-at-large for The National Poetry Review, a professor for Lone Star College System, a teaching artist for The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, an editorial adviser for The Criterion, an editor for Tiferet Journal, and host of Tiferet Talk radio. Learn more at melissastuddard.com
Library Series Nominating Committee (April 2013 – March 2014)
Yerra, Jane, Oscar, Marcell and Ken
ARTlines2 Advisory Committee
Dave Parsons, Kevin Prufer, Robin Reagler, Fran Sanders, Melissa Studdard
Ex Libris Poetry Book Club Selection Committee (April 2014 – March 2015)
Dom Zuccone, Chair Mike Alexander, Jenny Brown, Gerald Cedillo, Kelly Ann Ellis, Lupe Mendez, Carl Rosenstock, Anis Shivani, Leslie Ullman, Chuck Wemple