Houston literature lovers know the most fabulous and fashionable story time of the year happens at the annual Inprint Poets and Writers Ball, and the recent 2017 gala, raising over $300,000 for the organization, was no exception. Event Ball co-chairs Claire and Robert Campbell and Kelly and Michael Sklar welcomed the 375 guests to a night celebrating the art of a good story as well as Inprint’s ongoing adventure tale of supporting local literary artists while bringing some of the most nationally and internationally acclaimed writers to town.
Reflecting that mission, the evening at The Houstonian Hotel began with intimate salon readings from three emerging writers who have benefited from Inprint’s support in the form of fellowship or prizes during their time in the University of Houston creative writing program.
Hayan Charara, the author of three poetry collections, including Something Sinister, shared poems on diverse of subject matter as his father’s fights with neighbors and Pulitzer Prize winners. Novelist Bradford Hipps read a hilarious excerpt from his book The Adventurist about a seemingly disastrous first date at a NASCAR race. Janine Joseph, author of the poetry collection Driving Without a License, told poetic tales of her time as a child star of commercials in the Philippines. All three writers thanked everyone at Inprint and executive director Rich Levy for supporting their work.
After sampling such literary delicacies, guests moved into the main dining room for a sumptuous three course dinner menu composed by friend-of-Inprint, Chef Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie, who was inspired by his own favorite books.
Of course, an Inprint event would not be complete without featuring a true biblio-star, and New York Times bestselling author of the novels Eligible, American Wife, and Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld certainly fit the bill. Sittenfeld gave guests a rare treat, a sneak read from a new work set in Houston from her upcoming short story collection, before offering a peek inside the writer’s room for how she began work on Eligible her contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice.
Inprint Board Chair Christina Bryan and Trey Peacock, Inprint board president Eleanor Gilbane and Dan Gilbane and Inprint Board vice president Kevin Lewis and Sabria Lewis celebrated the successful evening.
Seen partying with the poets were Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Mary and Marcel Barone, Katharine Barthelme, Jeff Beauchamp, Susannah Bowen, Liz and Steve Crowell, Carolyn and Platt Davis, Mary S and Jack Dawson, Gwendolyn Dawson and Ba Nguyen, Consuelo Duroc-Danner, and Kristina Van Dyke and Jeff Fort.
Also spotted in the crowd were Debbie Gary, Marc Grossberg, Randi Faust and Carl Herman, Rachel and Bud Frazier, Winnell and Doug Herron, Carolyn Roch and Matt Henneman, Stephanie Larsen, Nancy Manderson, Nancy McGregor and Neal Manne, Nancy Powell Moore, Barbara and Louis Sklar, Kathryn and Craig Smyser, Sannam and Scott Warrender, Mark Wawro and Melanie Gray, Marcia West and Ron Lewis, and Andrea and Bill White.