In a glittering night attended by some of Houston’s most ardent literati, the Inprint Poets and Writers Ball celebrated the power of literature. Chaired by Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, the evening of artful storytelling at the Houstonian Hotel raised over $400,000 for Inprint and its mission to support local writers, while bringing some of the most nationally and internationally acclaimed authors to Houston.
With award-winning travel and fiction writer Paul Theroux the featured speaker of the Ball, guests were continually reminded the pleasures of exploring the world or getting lost in time and place all amid the pages of a good book.
A great highlight of the evening came during the pre-dinner entertainment, as guests were treated to salon reading from some astonishing and fresh literary voices, all current graduate students or alumni from the prestigious University of Houston Creative Writing Program. Poet Conor Bracken read from his award-winning chapbook Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour, Aja Gabel from her soon to be published novel The Ensemble and fiction writer Adrienne Perry gave a sneak peek of a work-in-progress novel that electrified the Ball audience. All three young writers spoke of how support from Inprint had allowed them the opportunity to continue their creative work.
Even chef Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie, who designed the dinner menu, had a story to tell, as his delightful menu origin essay “A Menu Imagined, con alcune licenze” accompanied the elegant dinner.
The culmination of the evening came as Theroux lead the guests on a meandering jaunt through his childhood and adult relationships with books and beloved authors. The epic ramble across literary time emphasized reading as a “subversive act” but one that brings people together.
On hand to ring in the historic night were Inprint board president Eleanor and Dan Gilbane and Inprint secretary and treasurer Robbi Jones.
Also seen partying like a poet were Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase, Candace Baggett and Ron Restrepo, Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Mary and Marcel Barone, Katharine Bowdoin Barthelme, Jeff Beauchamp, Luba and Alan Bigman, Susie Bowen and Payson Tucker, Carolyn Russell Brock and Glen Brock, Claire Smyser Campbell and Robert Campbell, Liz and Steve Crowell, Gwendolyn Dawson and Ba Nguyen, Mary S and Jack Dawson, Susan and Katie Dunwoody, Consuelo Duroc-Danner, Brooke and Dan Feather, Kristina and Jeff Fort, Rachel and Bud Frazier,, Valerie and Rick Greiner, Carolyn Roch Henneman and Matt Henneman, Nicole and Evan Katz, Rice President David Leebron, Nancy Powell Moore, Franci Neely, Vivie and Chris O'Sullivan, Catherine and Will Randall, Docia Rudley, Bobbi and Vic Samuels, Kelly and Michael Sklar, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Sannam and Scott Warrender, Marcia West, Nina and Michael Zilkha.