The University of Houston’s Poetry and Prose Reading Series has steadily grown into a much-anticipated literary event. To kick off the fall semester, the series will host three talents from UH’s esteemed Creative Writing Program.
Visiting professor Z.Z. Packer, associate professor Alex Parsons and alumnus Keith Jardim will share works at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 12 in UH’s Honors College Commons (second floor of the M.D. Anderson Library – entrance 1 off Cullen Boulevard). This event is free and open to the public.
Packer’s 2003 collection of short stories was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award and was named a New York Times Notable Book. Her work has been published in Harper’s, The Best American Short Stories (2000, 2004) and Ploughshares. In 2008, Packer earned the Guggenheim Prize for Fiction. Smithsonian Magazine named Packer one of America’s Young Innovators, and Granta Magazine listed her as one of America’s Best Young Novelists. Recently, she was featured in in the New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” fiction issue.
Parsons earned UH’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2010. His first novel “Leaving Disneyland” earned the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Series Award and the Writers’ League of Texas Violet Crown Award. It also was a finalist for the PEN West Award. Parson’s second novel “Shadows Under the Sun” was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Book. Among his other honors are a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, the Sherwood Anderson Prize and a Texas Fellowship in Literature. His most recent work is the novel “El Repoman.”
Jardim earned a doctorate from UH’s Creative Writing Program. His fiction and essays have been published in several publications including the Kyk-Over-Al, Mississippi Review, Wasafiri, Denver Quarterly, Atlanta Review, Caribbean Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, Journal of Caribbean Literatures and Short Story. His first book “Near Open Water” was short listed in the fiction category of the OCM Bocas Caribbean Literary Prize.