UHV 2016-2017 Downtown Arts Series to feature poets, dramatist, musicians

Rodrigo Toscano
Barbara Henning
Alice Vinson
Megan Kaminski
Jonathan Stalling
Steve McCaffery
Karen Mac Cormack
Linda Russo
William S. Yellow Robe
E. Ethelbert Miller
Tére Fowler-Chapman
Andrew Levy
David Dove

The 2016-2017 University of Houston-Victoria Downtown Arts Series is preparing to kick off and will feature a wide range of artists, including the inventor of a new Chinese-English interlanguage method, a multi-media book artist and a collaborative poetry and music presentation.

Charles Alexander

“Since we’ve started this series, our goal always has been to bring in a good mix of artists who work in all sorts of media,” said Charles Alexander, UHV poet and designer in residence and co-curator of the series. “A lot of our series participants are writers and artists we have met during the previous year. We love to bring these people back to share their talents with the Victoria community.”

In previous years, the series featured several artists from across Texas. This year, the presenters hail from both the East and West Coasts as well as New Orleans and Canada. Each of the events will begin at 7 p.m. at the UHV Center for the Arts, 204 N. Main St. The artists will give a presentation of their work and answer attendees’ questions. The events are free and open to the public, and refreshments are available.

“The mission of the Downtown Arts Series is to share all forms of art with the community,” said Cynthia Miller, UHV artist in residence and co-curator of the series. “We’ve had a lot of high-energy people attending, and the audience members will be on the edge of their seats this year.”

Cynthia Miller

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to support from the UHV School of Arts & Sciences, one of the events also will be co-sponsored by the Victoria Film Society.  

“The Downtown Arts Series is a great part of UHV’s involvement in the arts and the community,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “I am proud of the work Charles Alexander and Cynthia Miller have done to bring in these talented speakers and reach out to the Victoria community.”

The schedule of visiting performers is:

  • Rodrigo Toscano, Sept. 26 Toscano has received a New York State Fellowship in Poetry. He will offer a poetry reading and talk about working class activism and poetry.
  • Barbara Henning, Oct. 15 – Henning is the author of three novels and seven collections of poetry and also has taught for Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Poetics. She will read some of her poetry and prose, and talk about innovative fiction.
  • Alice Vinson, Nov. 19 – Vinson is an artist whose work ranges from mixed media artists’ books to multi-media installations. Her art is featured internationally. She will offer a presentation about her work as a multi-media book artist and on the state of the artist’s book in educational programs.
  • Megan Kaminski and Jonathan Stalling, Dec. 3 – Kaminski is the author of two books of poetry and 10 chapbooks. She also is the 2016 Integrated Arts Research Initiative Faculty Fellow at the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kan. Stalling is a poet-critic who has published six books of poetry, criticism and translation. He also is the inventor of Pinying, a new Chinese-English interlanguage method and digital language learning platforms. They will present a poetry and translation reading followed by a conversation about teaching contemporary poetry in humanities education programs.
  • Steve McCaffery and Karen Mac Cormack, Jan. 21 – McCaffery is the author of more than 40 books and chapbooks of poetry and criticism. He has been nominated twice for the Governor General’s Award and is a two-time recipient of the Gertrude Stein Prize for Innovative Writing. Mac Cormack is a contemporary experimental poet. She holds dual British/Canadian citizenship. The couple will give a poetry reading and talk about issues in contemporary innovative poetry.
  • Linda Russo, Jan. 28 – Russo is a creative-critical writer whose work engages ecopoetics, which focuses on a strong ecological emphasis or message; human and non-human land use; and experiential and ideological geographies. She will conduct a poetry reading as well as a presentation about projects and ideas in ecopoetics.
  • William S. Yellow Robe, Feb. 18 – Yellow Robe is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Tribe from the Fort Peck Sioux and Assiniboine reservation located in northeastern Montana. He is a leading American Indian playwright. The presentation will include a dramatic reading, including a staged reading of a play, and a talk about Native American issues in contemporary drama.
  • E. Ethelbert Miller and Tére Fowler-Chapman, March 25 – Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C. He previously visited Victoria in 2011 as part of the UHV/American Book Review Reading Series. Fowler-Chapman is the founder of Words on the Avenue and currently is executive director of Tucson Poetry Festival. They will give a poetry reading and spoken word performance.
  • Andrew Levy and David Dove, April 8 – Levy’s poems and essays have appeared in numerous American and international magazines and anthologies as well as 14 of his own books. Dove is a Houston trombone player, composer, improviser and educator. Together, they will present a poetry and music collaboration and lead a conversation about collaboration between writers and artists.

For more information about the Downtown Arts Series, contact Alexander at 361-703-5147 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs 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, Texas, 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.