Society / The Seen

Historic Fire Station Home Hosts the Ultimate Literary Gala

Pulitzer Prize Winner Jets in From New York

BY Matthew Ramirez & Catherine D. Anspon // 01.08.19
photography Emily Jaschke

What: Gulf Coast Gala

Where: The historic fire station turned home of Anne Whitlock and Michael Skelly

PC Moment: Acclaimed poets and a use for commas go hand in hand and both were again in lockstep as Gulf Coast – the premier literary journal of southeast Texas, published by the English department at the University of Houston – toasted to a five-figure night at its annual gala. The literary night featured a reading by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds, in from New York where she holds a post at NYU and is known for her deeply personal works, often focused on family, including 2012’s Stag’s Leap, which won her the Pulitzer, about her divorce.

The intimate affair of letters rolled out the red carpet for Olds, who’s contributed to Gulf Coast and was warmly greeted by the well-read attendees, who enjoyed a cocktail reception followed by a buffet dinner catered by City Kitchen. The crowd flocked to pick up the latest edition, the 31.1 Winter/Spring 2019 issue, distinguished by an eye-catching feminist cover by New York-based artist Julie Curtiss.

Read about the four-decade history of the literary and arts journal here.

PC Seen: Chairs Mary S. Dawson and Jack Dawson; board officers including president Misty Matin and VP Laura Calaway; UH professor of English and director of Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies Elizabeth Gregory; Inprint executive director Rich Levy; Josh Pazda, director of Hiram Butler Gallery, who contributed an article to the latest issue about artist Tony Feher; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston curator Patricia Restrepo with parents Candace Baggett and Ron Restrepo; The Menil Collection’s director of operations Melissa McDonnell Lujan; Gulf Coast staff including editor Justin Jannise, managing editor Paige Quiñones, digital editor Robbie Howell, and art editor Katharine Barthelme; Lane Schultz with pal Tracy Larner; Eleanor Gilbane; Sis Johnson; Lexie Boudreaux; Caroline Kerr and Andy Lusk; Mindy Bryan; Hinda Simon; Marilyn Jones; Fan and Peter Morris; Susie Bowen; and Kate McConnico escorted by Mark Lee.

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