UHV/ABR Readings Series, Five Points Museum to host porch readings

Members of the Victoria community now have the opportunity to celebrate the works of authors and artists under one roof as the University of Houston-Victoria/American Book Review Reading Series presents its new ABR Porch Readings hosted by the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art.

The new ABR Porch Readings will feature authors from the readings series and will take place on the porch of artist Travis Whitfield’s installation, the “Shotgun House.” These readings are in addition to the UHV/ABR Reading Series in the Alcorn Auditorium inside UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

Author Sarah Etter will kick off the porch readings at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 20 inside the Five Points Museum, 1202 N. Moody St. Both the UHV/ABR Reading Series at UHV and the ABR Porch Readings are free and open to the public.

Jeffrey Di Leo

“The house at the Five Points Museum lends itself to someone sitting there and sharing a story,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, ABR editor and publisher. “This is the perfect way to collaborate with artists of different media, and I am excited to celebrate both the work of each author and the artists featured at the museum.”

Each author featured in the spring UHV/ABR Reading Series will have the opportunity to read and reflect on their work or tell other stories during the ABR Porch Readings. There also will be a reception, and attendees will be able to interact with the author and the exhibit, which is located in the large gallery at the museum.

The installation is a full-size “shotgun” house, a type of home that has doors aligned so precisely that one could “shoot a gun right through it.”

“Travis Whitfield’s installation has a traditional country porch, and sitting on the stoop is all a part of the country aesthetic that he is honoring with his work,” said Maurice Roberts, chief curator of the museum. “Working with the reading series allows us to show that Five Points is a multidisciplinary space that can adapt to different forms of art. The whole point of these events is to make us closer as a community, and having these disciplines together helps our community explore new levels of art.”

Other authors scheduled for the spring reading series are:

Ladan Osman, March 12 – Osman is a Somali-born poet and essayist. She is the author of “Exiles of Eden” and “The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony,” winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize; and the chapbook “Ordinary Heaven,” which appeared in the box set “Seven New Generation African Poets.” She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, Luminarts Foundation and Michener Center for Writers Fellowship, among numerous other nominations.

Douglas Kearney, April 2 – Kearney is a poet, performer and librettist who has published six books that bridge thematic concerns such as politics, African American culture, masks, the Trickster figure and contemporary music. His most recent work, “Buck Studies,” was awarded the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award for Poetry, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award and the silver medal for the California Book Award in Poetry.

Rick Moody, April 30 – Moody is the author of six novels, including “The Ice Storm” and “Hotels of North America;” three story collections, including “Demonology;” and three works of nonfiction. With Darcey Steinke, he co-edited the anthology “Joyful Noise: The New Testament Revisited.” His most recent work is a memoir, “The Long Accomplishment.” His work has been widely anthologized in “Best American Stories,” “Best American Essays” and The Pushcart Prize, and has been adapted into films, theater works and musical compositions. He teaches at Brown University and lives in Rhode Island.

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 10,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.

Authors are available after each session to sign copies of their books. Each author also meets with students after the readings on campus.

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.

Amber Aldaco