Valzhyna Mort is well versed in Belarusian and English. The Minsk-born poet, the first ever to release a collection of poems translated from her native tongue into ours, reads today as part of the Houston Poetry Festival. Factory of Tears (2008) is Mort's exploration of her cross-the-pond move to Washington, D.C. Her pointed lines cleverly play with form and language and were translated by a poetry powerhouse: Pulitzer Prize-winner Franz Wright and his wife Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright. But it's not all first-in-English this and Pulitzer-winner-friends that. Mort has maintained acclaim with intense readings that lend to her expressions of frustration, loneliness and, also, strength. Mort is joined by 2009 Texas Poet Laureate Paul D. Ruffin today at 7:30 p.m. at the Willow Street Pump Station, 811 North San Jacinto. The festival runs through Sunday. For a complete schedule, call 713-654-8921 or visit www.houstonpoetryfest.info. Free.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 8. Continues through Oct. 11, 2009