There's a growing sense that, while the Internet has made more information available to us all, it also has made us less productive and maybe even stupid Ñ at the very least, less capable of deep thinking. For this reason, the Houston Poetry Festival, now in its 25th year, might be more relevant than ever, as a means not only to foster the pleasure of listening to artful words, but just to get the heck away from the bits and bytes that now dominate our attention. This year's festival features several sessions of recitation of works by new and established poets, including featured writer Robert Wynne and guests Sarah Cortez, Jo LeCoeur and James Michael Robbins. Some poets, such as Wynne, have been carefully chosen by a jury; others will test out new verses in an open session. Meet the writers and pick up an anthology of their work, but above all else, put the iPhone away and try some deep thinking, before we lose the skill completely. That's the whole joyous point to the festival. The first reading is at 5:30 p.m. Friday at University of Houston-Downtown, 1 Main. Other events continue at various times and locations. Through October 10. For a full schedule, visit www.houstonpoetryfest.info. Free.
Oct. 8-10, 2010