Poison Pen Reading Series vs. Every Other Reading Series in the USofA [Hint: It’s the Best reading series west of the Mississippi (or east for that matter)]

I want to say Happy Birthday to the Poison Pen Reading Series in Houston TX. They turned 6yrs old yesterday, and I got to read at their birthday celebration, along with Miah Arnold and ZZ Packer.

Miah and ZZ brought the house down (which was to be expected). And I had an absolute blast reading between them . . . but what I really marvel at is a reading series like Poison Pen. No joke, it is my favorite place to read in all the world. The Poison Girl–the bar that hosts the series on the last Thursday of each month– has a bourbon selection to rival all others, and is cool in all the ways you want your bar to be: cool people, cool wall of pinball, cool garden patio.

The readings are what readings should be. There’s no cheese plates, there’s more Lone Star than Pinot Noir, there’s a giant Kool-Aid Man statue adorning the corner of the “stage.” And the crowd is full of people who honestly just like to read, and hear things read at them. Yes, many of the people at the readings are University of Houston Writing Program students, faculty, alumni, but that is a small part of the nearly 100 in attendance last night–the majority are locals who like literature and booze, more often than not at the same time.

So, thanks to David MacLean, Greg Oaks, Casey Fleming and Scott Repass for supporting good poems and good stories . . . here’s to another 6 years . . . and another.

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