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UHV opens downtown bookstore to showcase publications, journals

Shelves are full of books and merchandise inside the new downtown bookstore in the University of Houston-Victoria Center for the Arts. The bookstore sells books, chapbooks and journals printed by publishers at UHV. It is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Discerning readers and inquisitive minds now have a place to explore some of the literary offerings from the University of Houston-Victoria.

Jeffrey Di Leo

The UHV School of Arts & Sciences has opened a specialty bookstore in the UHV Center for the Arts, 204 N. Main St. The downtown store is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and offers copies of works by all of the publishers, journals and presses connected to UHV. These include Chax Press, Cuneiform, Dalkey Archive Press, Fiction Collective Two, Huizache, symploke and the University Press of Victoria. The store also sells copies of books written by authors who come to Victoria for the UHV/American Book Review Reading Series – many of which are signed by the authors.

“UHV is home to publishers and journals that publish some great content, and this bookstore offers a go-to location for community members to access that work,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the school. “This shop is a perfect opportunity to showcase the work being done at UHV and connect with people in Victoria.”

The idea to establish a store for UHV publications and presses began two years ago when the university started making plans for the Center for the Arts. The building also is home to one of the university’s Computation & Advanced Visualization Engineering labs as well as a studio for Chax Press and art classes. The Center for the Arts hosts the Downtown Arts Series, which brings in poets, writers, artists and musicians from around the world.

Vic Morgan

“UHV has a strong publishing program with several excellent presses and literary journals,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “I look forward to seeing this resource develop so the community can enjoy increased access to the works produced through UHV.”

As the bookstore becomes better known, Di Leo hopes to host regular readings and book discussions at the location. The store also will be open during downtown events, such as Victoria Film Society showings at the Welder Center next door.

“Part of the draw of this store is the unique access to books that can’t easily be found elsewhere,” Di Leo said. “I like to call it the anti-big box bookstore. If people want a Stephen King novel, they can find it at a big bookstore, but if they want to get a book translated by Dalkey Archive Press or chapbooks of modern poetry, this store is the place to look. I hope this will become a destination location for people looking for a unique reading experience.”

In addition to the publications and books, the store also sells UHV merchandise, including T-shirts and mugs advertising the UHV/ABR Reading Series. Di Leo also plans to sell posters from the readings series.

The store is a work in progress, and Di Leo welcomes ideas and feedback from the community, he said. Suggestions can be emailed to artssciences@uhv.edu. Those with questions about the bookstore can contact UHV senior secretary Stefanie Garcia at 361-703-5147 or garciasl1@uhv.edu.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.