Society / The Seen

Houston’s Most Unusual Cocktail Party — Writing Poetry Becomes Part of the Agenda

Inprint's Ball Takes an Unexpected Turn Thanks to Star Poet

BY // 02.14.20
photography Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

It was a most unexpected way for the cocktail-attired throng to spend a charitable evening — writing poetry. But that is the task that National Book Award wining poet and MacArthur Foundation Fellow Terrance Hayes assigned to supporters of Inprint Inc.

As guest author at Inprint‘s 34th annual “Poets & Writers Ball,” held at The Houstonian, Hayes discoursed on the poet’s creative process thoroughly engaging the gathering of 380. And then he suggested they put pen to paper.

As a thank you gift for Inprint ball patrons and guests, book artists Cathy Hunt and Fiona McGettigan of FioCat Press created a signed, limited-edition chapbook, A Poem By You by Hayes. The handmade book, which features new poetry and drawings by the poet, complemented his interactive talk and there guests began penning their own poems.

Several among the newfound poets, at Hayes’ encouragement, shared with guests the lines they had composed. And many committed to continue working on their poems later at home.

As is tradition with this inspiring event, the evening began with salon readings, this year from three accomplished writers — Ricardo Nuila, Cait Weiss Orcutt, and Ashley Wurzbacher. All three involved with Inprint.

Traditions continued as chef Robert Del Grande of The Annie Café & Bar created the menu and guests decorated their table in themes of their favorite books. Among the table decor were themes based on How to Be Drawn by Hayes, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Topeka School by Ben Lerner, The Library Book by Susan Orlean, Frontera fiction, the writings of Chitra Divakaruni and more.

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PC Seen: Dinner chairs Anne Whitlock and Michael Skelly, Inprint board president Kevin Lewis, Chinhui and Eddie Allen, Sis and Hasty Johnston, Kathryn Kase and Jeff Cohen, Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase, Mimi Swartz and John Wilburn, Tissy and Rusty Harden, Chitra and Murthy Divakaruni, Bobbie Nau, Mark Grossberg, Justin Cronin, Andrea and Bill White, Cullen Geiselman, and Kathryn and Craig Smyster.

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Exclusively offered by Erin Cluley Gallery on Culture Place. Left to right: Nic Nicosia, Nathan Green, and René Treviño

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