UHV announces fall American Book Review series authors

Lacy M. Johnson
Kwame Dawes
Ru Freeman
Frederick Luis Aldama
R. Clay Reynolds

The American Book Review will welcome its 100th author to the University of Houston-Victoria as part of a dynamic fall reading series lineup.

Visiting authors will include an activist who confronts violence against women, a poet who studied Bob Marley’s lyrics and a novelist who promotes Latino narratives.

Jeffrey Di Leo

“We are fortunate to again have an incredibly strong lineup of authors, each with their own distinct flare for storytelling,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences, and ABR editor and publisher. “These authors represent what ABR is all about – recognizing a wide variety of writers who help us create the picture of who we are and what literature means in our time.”

The festivities will begin Sept. 7 with a visit by Lacy M. Johnson, the 100th author in the reading series. The series got underway on Sept. 13, 2006, with a reading by novelist Graciela Limon.

“I’m not sure any of us who attended the first reading would have imagined at the time that it was the start of having 100 authors visit,” Di Leo said. “The series has taken off and been a resounding success due to tremendous support from so many people.”

Visiting authors will read selections from their work at noon in the Alcorn Auditorium inside UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. For the first time, one of the readings will take place at both the main UHV campus and at UHV Katy, where UHV offers programs for transfer and graduate students. The Oct. 27 reading will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room on the third floor of UHV Katy, 2002 W. Grand Parkway N., Building 2. All readings will begin at noon and are free and open to the public.

Authors scheduled for the UHV/ABR Fall Reading Series are:

Lacy M. Johnson, Sept. 7 – Johnson is a Houston-based artist, curator, professor, activist and author of the memoir “The Other Side.” Known for its frank and fearless confrontation of the epidemic of violence against women, the memoir was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. She also is the author of “Trespasses: A Memoir.” Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Tin House, Creative Nonfiction and many other publications. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and Sierra Nevada College.

Kwame Dawes, Sept. 28 – Dawes is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and plays. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of Ghana, his birth nation. His book, “Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius,” studies the lyrics of Bob Marley. Dawes won a Pushcart Prize for the best American poetry of 2001 for his long poem, “Inheritance.” In 2009, Dawes won an Emmy for, an interactive website based on his project, HOPE: Living and loving with AIDS in Jamaica. He is the Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska.

Ru Freeman, Oct. 26 (Victoria) and Oct. 27 (Katy) – Freeman is the author of the novels “A Disobedient Girl” and “On Sal Mal Lane,” a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book. Both novels have been translated into several languages. She is the editor of the ground-breaking anthology “Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine.” Her writing has appeared in the UK Guardian, The New York Times and the Boston Globe. She is the 2014 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Award for Fiction and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman.

Frederick Luis Aldama, Nov. 16 – Aldama has authored more than 30 books, including the recent “Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands.” In his teaching and publishing, he seeks to advance, promote and encourage the narrative and graphic arts, especially those by and about Latinos. Aldama has created pipelines for Latinos in education, with a special interest in the humanities and storytelling arts. As an Ohio State University professor, he directs a Latino outreach program called LASER. The program won the 2015 White House Bright Spot for Higher Education Award.

R. Clay Reynolds, Dec. 6 – Reynolds is a scholar, teacher and writer. He is the director of creative writing and teaches creative writing and modern literature at the University of Texas at Dallas. Reynolds writes fiction and nonfiction, as well as scholarship, book criticism and journalistic essays and articles. His novels, “Franklin’s Crossing” and “Monuments,” both won the Violet Crown Award from the Writers’ League of Texas. He is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and has received grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

ABR is a nonprofit, internationally distributed literary journal published six times a year. It began in 1977, moved to UHV in 2006 and has a circulation of about 8,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.

Authors will be available after each reading to sign copies of their books. Each author also will meet with students and attend a community reception.

For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call the ABR office at 361-570-4101 or go to

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.

Jeremy Shapiro