Houston Poetry Fest 2013

Houston physician and writer Fady Joudah (seen above) is the guest poet at the opening-night session of the Houston Poetry Fest 2013. Joudah presents poems from his latest book, the recently released Alight. His first book, The Earth in the Attic, chronicled the former emergency room doctor's medical humanitarian missions. ''This is a continued conversation about that work,'' he tells us. ''I'm looking at the way the past informs the present, at how what I used to do continues to affect me in my life now. I wasn't a husband and a father then; I am now. Alight is about my life in America today and juxtaposes that against my life abroad in the past.'' While it's a continuation of The Earth in the Attic, Alight differs significantly in style. ''I wrote sentences free of punctuation. Except in my prose poems, I tried to free the lyric by removing the punctuation and allowing the text to speak for itself. Obviously it changes the way one writes. It brings up questions about clarity and meaning.''

Now in its 27th year, the Poetry Fest includes writing workshops (Saturday morning, 902 Hardy, $5 to $10) and readings at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Willow Street Pump Station, 811 North San Jacinto. For information, visit houstonpoetryfest.info. Free.
Fri., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 12, 1 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 13, 2 p.m., 2013

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Olivia Flores Alvarez