Austin | Dallas | Houston
Making An InPrint

Saving lives with words: Celebrity poet preaches the power of prose at Houston's Writers Ball

Enlarge
Slideshow
Matt Henneman and Carolyn Roch Henneman, from left, Natasha Trethewey and Brett Gadsden at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Matt Henneman and Carolyn Roch Henneman, from left, Natasha Trethewey and Brett Gadsden at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
David Tomas Martinez at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
David Tomas Martinez at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Robert Boswell, from left, Antonya Nelson and Charlie and Angela Alcorn at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Robert Boswell, from left, Antonya Nelson and Charlie and Angela Alcorn at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Suresh and Renu Khator at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Suresh and Renu Khator at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Mark Wawro, from left, Melanie Gray and Eleanor and Dan Gilbane at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Mark Wawro, from left, Melanie Gray and Eleanor and Dan Gilbane at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Richard and Marty Finger at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Richard and Marty Finger at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Natasha Trethewey at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Natasha Trethewey at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Michael Zilkha, from left, Ann Trione and Alexander Regier at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Michael Zilkha, from left, Ann Trione and Alexander Regier at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Marshal and Victoria Lightman at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Marshal and Victoria Lightman at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Jeff Fort, from left, Kate Barthelme and Bob Patten at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Jeff Fort, from left, Kate Barthelme and Bob Patten at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Isabel and Danny David at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Isabel and Danny David at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Eun Joo and Suk-Bum Park at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Eun Joo and Suk-Bum Park at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Elizabeth Black gives a salon style reading in the Main Reading Room at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Elizabeth Black gives a salon-style reading in the Main Reading Room at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Docia and John Rudley, from left, with Marcia West at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Docia and John Rudley, from left, with Marcia West at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Diana Strassmann and Jeff Smisek at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Diana Strassmann and Jeff Smisek at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
David Tomas Martinez, from left, Elizabeth Black and David Stuart MacLean at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
David Tomas Martinez, from left, Elizabeth Black and David Stuart MacLean at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Consuelo Duroc-Danner and Rich Levy at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Consuelo Duroc-Danner and Rich Levy at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Alan and Luba Bigman at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Alan and Luba Bigman at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Matt Henneman and Carolyn Roch Henneman, from left, Natasha Trethewey and Brett Gadsden at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
David Tomas Martinez at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Robert Boswell, from left, Antonya Nelson and Charlie and Angela Alcorn at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Suresh and Renu Khator at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Mark Wawro, from left, Melanie Gray and Eleanor and Dan Gilbane at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Richard and Marty Finger at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Natasha Trethewey at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Michael Zilkha, from left, Ann Trione and Alexander Regier at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Marshal and Victoria Lightman at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Jeff Fort, from left, Kate Barthelme and Bob Patten at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Isabel and Danny David at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Eun Joo and Suk-Bum Park at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Elizabeth Black gives a salon style reading in the Main Reading Room at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Docia and John Rudley, from left, with Marcia West at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Diana Strassmann and Jeff Smisek at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
David Tomas Martinez, from left, Elizabeth Black and David Stuart MacLean at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Consuelo Duroc-Danner and Rich Levy at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014
Alan and Luba Bigman at the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball February 2014

Poetry is a necessity in life. This was the argument put forth by current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to 430 of Houston’s glittering literati gathered at the Houston Country Club for the 2014 Inprint Poets & Writers Ball.

After a dinner curated by Elouise “Ouisie” Jones fit for a poet king, Trethewey used her intimate relationship with poetry, which has supported her through triumphs and tragedies, as evidence that poetry sustains us as individuals and as a culture as we grieve and celebrate. Declaring that poetry saves us one life at a time, she reminded her audience the greater reason that they had gathered: To celebrate poetry.

The $375,000 proceeds of the Inprint Poets & Writers Ball, chaired this year by Carolyn Roch Henneman and Matt Henneman, help fund Inprint’s literary arts community activities including the nationally renowned Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series and Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People; writers workshops for aspiring writers; and prizes and fellowships for the emerging writers of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

Among the many highlights of the evening were the salon readings by three Houston writers touched by Inprint programs.

David Stuart MacLean, a one time Inprint Mary Gibbs & Jesse H. Jones Fellowship winner earned gasps and laughs from listeners as he read the opening chapter of his memoir which recounts his harrowing experience waking up in an Indian train station with no idea who he was. The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia has just been published and is already garnering critical praise. 

University of Houston PhD candidate and active Inprint poetry busker, David Tomas Martinez allowed poetry revelers a sneak peek into his poetry collection Hustle, to be published in May. Before beginning his reading, Martinez gave a moving summation of the many ways the University of Houston creative writing program and Inprint have helped and supported his writing life.

Unlike MacLean and Martinez, novelist Elizabeth Black encountered Inprint not through the UH Creative Writing Program, but instead through the Inprint Writers Workshops. Those workshops allowed the director of development for Baylor College of Medicine the space and time to concentrate on her novel, The Drowning House. The Galveston set mystery turns the city and its history into a pivotal character.

Also on hand partying as the poets do were, Inprint board president Consuelo Duroc-Danner, University of Houston president Renu Khator and Suresh Khator, Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase, Anne S. Brown, Susie and Sanford Criner, Carolyn and Platt Davis, Jeff Fort, Cece and Mack Fowler, Rachel and Dr. Bud Frazier, Cullen Geiselman, Eleanor and Dan Gilbane, Judy and Marc Herzstein, Sis and Hasty JohnsonAnne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Mark Wawro and Melanie GrayAndrea White and Michael Zilkha.

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address