Women and Poetry from Across the Divide

10/12/2015

Iconoclast presents an evening of poetry featuring Houston’s Poet Laureate, Dr. Robin Davidson, and performance poet Jasmmine Mendez. Also presenting will be three young women from the Iconoclast creative writing program.
 
This evening of “Women and Poetry from across the divide” will be Thursday, October 22, at 7 p.m. in Fondren Hall of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, (Houston) 5501 Main. Street.
 
Davidson has published two poetry chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World, and one collection, Luminous Other. Her poems and translations have appeared in literary journals including The Paris Review. An associate professor at University of Houston – Downtown, she also has served as a visiting Fulbright professor in Kraków, Poland, and president of the board for Houston’s Writers in the Schools program.
Upon being named Houston’s Poet Laureate in May, Davidson said, “One of Poetry’s greatest strengths is its capacity to engender human empathy in the reader, the listener, the writer. As Poet Laureate, I hope to serve all Houstonians by listening to the stories they have to share and promoting the art of Poetry — its thrilling engagement with language — as deeply relevant to each of our lives.”
Born from immigrant parents of the Dominican Republic, Mendez learned both English and Spanish at a very early age and has used this asset by performing, reading and writing poetry, short stories, and plays in both languages.
 
While earning her B.A. in English literature and M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston, she played leading roles in plays including A Raisin in the Sun, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, and Yerma. She also spent many of those years writing and performing poetry, captivating audiences through the passion and energy of her words and voice. Mendez has been published both nationally and internationally, and her first multi-genre memoir, Island of Dreams. was published by Floricanto Press in November of 2013.
 
Iconoclast the name of the Artist-in-Residence creative writing program hosted by St. Paul’s. Youth in the program come from seven different sites, including Sharpstown High School, incarceration, and St. Paul’s spiritual youth group. The goal of the program, led by poet Marlon Lizama, is to create writers and published young authors.  Iconoclast is an outgrowth of ProjectCURATE, a program that seeks to enflesh learning through the diverse body of the city and church, helping to bring people together to build faith and kinship, in order to realize God’s expansive embrace in the lives of all of God’s people.
 
Located at 5501 Main at Binz/Bissonnet in the Museum District, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is a cathedral for Houston that embodies its diversity inspires faith and leads change for the common good of all peoples and communities. Free parking is available across Fannin Street from the church, and the Museum District MetroRail stops are within walking distance of the church. Website: www.stpaulshouston.org.