UH Libraries News

Libraries Transform Texas

Libraries Transform Texas

Libraries Transform Texas

During the week of October 7 – 11, University of Houston Libraries joins Texas Library Association (TLA) in its campaign to celebrate the numerous ways that libraries are transforming Texas.

This week, UH Libraries will highlight the transformative spaces, collections, and services available to UH students, faculty, staff, scholars, and the community.

Follow UH Libraries on Twitter @UHoustonLib to learn more.

Poetry and Prose: New Grad Students

Update 9/17/19: Due to the tropical storm and weather forecast for tomorrow, Poetry & Prose has been rescheduled for October 16.

The 2019-2020 season of Poetry and Prose kicks off October 16, featuring new graduate students in the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. The long-running reading series, highlighting the work of UH faculty, students, alumni and other well-known writers, takes place in the Honors College Commons, MD Anderson Library at 5:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Readers for October 16:

Erik Brown (MFA Poetry) received a BA in English and Creative Writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Erik comes to Houston from a seven-year career in fundraising and has helped raise millions of dollars for research into psychedelic-assisted therapies.

Christopher Miguel Flakus (MFA Poetry) has published work in The Huffington Post, Akashic Books: Mondays are Murder Noir Series, Indietronica, Outlaw Poetry, Glass Mountain Magazine, In Recovery Magazine, Glass Poetry, Black Heart Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2017 he was awarded the Fabian Worsham Prize for fiction. He is the author of the chapbooks Bear Down Into Hell With Me (As Only a True Friend Would), and Thirst, and Other  Poems  through Iron Lung Press, as well as the chapbooks Christiana, and Dialogos: Mexico City Poems from Analog Submission Press. He is the co-editor of Defunkt Magazine, a literary magazine focused on outsider writing and art. Christopher grew up in Mexico City and writes in both English and Spanish.

Joshua Steven Gregory (MFA Poetry) was born in Philadelphia, PA and is from southern New Jersey and Vermont. He has been awarded scholarships from the Colgate Writers’ Conference and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA for his work. He is also a recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School where he studied religion and ethics and practiced healthcare chaplaincy. He currently serves as Editor-at-Large for Peripheries Journal based out of the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard. Most recently, his poems have appeared in the Colorado Review and Denver Quarterly.

Gabriella Adriana Iacono (MFA Poetry) grew up in Staten Island, New York, where she earned her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the College of Staten Island CUNY. She has worked in public education since 2014, and has served as an editor for NYSAI Press. Iacono is currently working on her first collection of poems.

Dan Kennedy (PhD Fiction) holds an MFA from Virginia Tech, where he won the Emily Morrison Prize in fiction. He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and graduated from Boston University with a BA in English; he was also a member of BU’s Division 1 wrestling team. His stories have appeared in BULLGhost Parachute, and Typehouse Literary Magazine. He’s currently at work on his first novel.

Aris Kian (MFA Poetry) is an inaugural member of CoogSlam, the 4th in the nation collegiate slam team. She has work published in Underground Journal. She was a blogger for AfroVibes Media and co-hosted poetry workshops for Writers in the Schools. She has been a featured reader for Write About Now Poetry (w/ CoogSlam), The Vibe Experience, and Glass Mountain.

Katie Milligan (MFA Fiction) grew up in Maine and earned her BA in English and Psychology from Dartmouth College. She has recently lived in Boston and New Hampshire, where she worked by day on the health innovation team at an HR consultancy and by night/weekend as a fiction student at GrubStreet, a Boston writing center.

Kaitlin Rizzo (MFA Poetry) prefers her cities underwater. After being raised in the hurricane lands of Florida, she now lives in Houston where she is a first year MFA in poetry. Three years after writing her first poem about the painter Artemisia Gentileschi, she is still happily obsessed and is now at work on her first collection of poetry about Gentileschi’s life.

giovanni singleton (PhD Poetry) holds an MFA from the New College of California and is the author of Ascension (Counterpath Press, 2011), which won the California Book Award Gold Medal, and of the poetry/art collection AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper (Canarium Books, 2018). She received the African American Literature and Culture Society’s 2018 Stephen E. Henderson Award for literary achievement and served as the 2017-18 Holloway Lecturer in Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has appeared in Poem-a-Day, Poetry, What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, Best American Experimental Writing, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology, The Ecopoetry Anthology, and elsewhere. Her writing has also been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute’s American Jazz Museum and on the building of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She is founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces.

Daniel Tompkins (MFA Poetry) is a poet and writer originally from Virginia. His work has appeared in Rattle, Chaleur, Twyckenham Notes, and The Visible Poetry Project, and his first Chapbook, You Are No Phoenix, You Are Merely Aflame, is set to be published by Finishing Line Press.

By on September 10th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured, Student Success

OER Discussion Group

University of Houston Libraries will host a series of open educational resources (OER) discussion group meetings for faculty. Meetings will be held from 12 pm – 1 pm in the MD Anderson Library Training Room 10-G (basement level) on the following dates:

  • Friday, September 27
  • Friday, October 18
  • Friday, November 15

Snacks will be provided, and attendees are welcome to bring lunch. Sign up here. Walk-ins are welcome.

View all upcoming OER events at UH

By on September 6th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured, OER

Into the Archives: GCAM

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections hosted a class conversation with Judy Reeves from the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of GLBT History (GCAM) this week. Reeves is a founding member and current curator of GCAM. She is a longtime activist in the community, having devoted many hours to organizations such as Pride Houston, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, and the Houston GLBT Caucus.

From left: Judy Reeves, Vince Lee, Leandra Zarnow

From left: Judy Reeves, Vince Lee, Leandra Zarnow

Assistant professor Leandra Zarnow of the UH department of History led her class, “Issues in Feminist Research: Into the Archives,” in a lively talk with Reeves and Vince Lee, archivist of the LGBT History Research Collection at UH Special Collections.

The GCAM Digital Archive is available online at the UH Digital Library. More than 30 years of Houston LGBTQ history is preserved and presented in this digital collection which contains over 100 LGBT newspaper issues from central Texas, the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and other Texas regions, from the 1970s through the early 2000s.

Pop-Up Library Fall Schedule

The William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art Library is pleased to announce its fall schedule of pop-up libraries, in partnership with First Friday Studio Sessions at Blaffer Art Muse​um.

The program features a series of pop-up libraries with curated art books available for check-out and museum catalogs for sale. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. 

Visit upcoming pop-up libraries on campus.

Visit upcoming pop-up libraries on campus.

Upcoming Pop-Ups

  • August 30 | 10am-12pm
  • September 6 | 10am-12pm
  • October 4 | 10am-12pm
  • October 10 | 4-6pm
  • November 1 | 10am-12pm
  • December 6 | 10am-12pm
By on August 29th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured

UH Librarian Crosses Language Barriers in the Arts World

Music & Literature No. 9

Music & Literature No. 9

“I thought I’d print 500 copies and they’d live in my closet,” said Taylor Davis-Van Atta of the first volume of Music & Literature. “Maybe I would do five issues if I was lucky.”

Word got around. The journal, produced by the nonprofit Music & Literature, Inc. and celebrating the oeuvres of international writers, artists, and musicians, has released nine issues to date, with its tenth and eleventh volumes in the works. What began as a labor of love by a curious and motivated individual has evolved to an esteemed, distinctive literary publication that is distributed to over 70 US bookstores and subscribed to by nearly 50 academic and public libraries; with contributors spanning six continents, over 45 countries, and working in 25 languages.

Davis-Van Atta, digital scholarship coordinator at University of Houston Libraries, was pleasantly surprised by the reception of the journal in 2013, which grew from his personal interest in artists not well-known in the US. He is publisher and co-editor of Music & Literature, which originated from research, and tons of it.

“In the early days before we had any staff and it was just me, I would look into what had been written in other languages about an artist I was interested in,” he said. “I’d reach out to the artist and tell them I wanted to curate a substantial portfolio of work about their career to date, and make it available to English-speaking readers.”

Davis-Van Atta provided the artist with a sense of the goal of the journal, and realistic expectations of the project, not the least of which is that publication does not necessarily equal widespread fame, although the journal has been successful in terms of gaining the interest of other editors and publishers. With an understanding of the commitment involved, the artists whom he has contacted have been enthusiastic and generous with their time and effort.

Each print issue of Music & Literature is devoted to the portfolios of artists whose work, for various reasons, had yet to reach an English-speaking audience. The editorial team works with artists to select pieces of their work, and translators are hired. The portfolios are assembled with varied perspectives on the artists’ work, and aims to be as comprehensive as possible. Many of Music & Literature’s featured artists have been working for over 30 years.

The most recent issue features Swiss-German writer Peter Bichsel and Canadian poet Sylvia Legris, two radically different artists who share no interest in self-promotion but have achieved a cult following in their regions of the globe.

“We seek out those artists who are truly deserving of being globally known,” said Davis-Van Atta, noting both the challenge of being introduced to a new language as an artist, and the value of encountering global voices.

Now with a staff of seven and fluency in eight languages, the editors of Music & Literature rely on a network of readers, other editors, and cultural attachés in underrepresented parts of the world who have a strong sense of the art that’s being produced in various languages. The lifecycle of a portfolio, from recommendation to publication, takes around two years, including selection of work, securing rights and permissions, and finding available translators.

Crossing language barriers is a time-consuming but necessary endeavor, said Davis-Van Atta. “It’s a big investment from a lot of people, and it definitely takes time to find what we think are the best pieces and what will resonate with English readers. [The artists] are coming from a completely different set of contexts than those we might be used to, so we want to find pieces that make sense and generate interest. There’s no built-in audience for this.”

Issue 10 of Music & Literature will feature poet and artist Renee Gladman, and improvisational pianist Craig Taborn. Davis-Van Atta and the editorial team have found a compelling way to represent the work of musicians on the printed page, by enlisting a well-known music journalist to conduct an interview with the artist for a retrospective, as well as soliciting comments from those with whom the artist has collaborated.

“We get funny, bizarre, personalized stories, and so there’s a real human perspective with those types of interviews,” said Davis-Van Atta. “It’s not just the arts and the work that we’re able to draw attention to, but we’re interested in conveying a sense of intimacy and communion with that work. We really love the thrill of working with that world.”

Music & Literature, Inc., is a nonprofit organization devoted to publishing and promoting the work of underrepresented artists from around the world. Each print issue of Music & Literature assembles an international cast of writers and critics in celebration of three featured artists whose work has yet to reach its deserved audience. In addition to its flagship publication, Music & Literature offers robust coverage of the arts through its website and organizes premier live programming in cities around the globe, routinely collaborating with other cultural organizations and institutions to bring the work of its featured artists directly to audiences. The Music & Literature project is designed to meet the immediate needs of modern arts enthusiasts while enduring and becoming a permanent resource for future generations of readers, scholars, and artists.

By on August 27th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured, Stories

New Rare Book Exhibits

Rare book exhibits

Rare book exhibits

Two rare book exhibits are now on display at the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design and Art Library.

On the first floor, a collection of books and magazines featuring artists and works from the Maeght Foundation can be found at the south wing exhibit case. The Maeght Foundation is one of France’s renowned art institutions. Their artists include stars such as Miro and Giacometti.

Also on view in the upper mezzanine area are four collotypes of draped models from a 1902 book titled Draperies in Action by Charles Schnek.

Contact Catherine Essinger for an appointment.

By on August 26th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured

UH Libraries Joins Library Publishing Coalition

University of Houston Libraries is now a member of the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC).

The LPC “extends the impact and sustainability of library publishing and open scholarship by providing a professional forum for developing best practices and shared expertise.”

Taylor Davis-Van Atta, digital scholarship coordinator, said the membership speaks to UH Libraries’ growing emphasis on making UH scholarship widely visible and discoverable. “With the Libraries playing a larger role in research production through new services and initiatives such as the Digital Research Commons’ sponsored projects program and the Alternative Textbook Incentive Program, we are building in the Libraries the means of producing and publishing a wide range of original scholarly works,” he said.

In the evolving landscape of scholarly communications, it becomes increasingly essential to establish a collaborative foundation of knowledge that is relevant among various institutions working in this space. With LPC membership, Davis-Van Atta said, UH Libraries has gained “access to a leading community of librarians who are partnering with researchers in innovative ways and developing open source tools and platforms that allow these partnerships to produce dynamic and interactive kinds of scholarship—and to publish this scholarship to the web in a variety of ways.”

Learn more about Cougar ROAR, Research Open Access Repositories.

LPC membership allows UH Libraries to build upon its existing expertise in the areas of copyright, publication agreements, open educational resources (OER), and open access, and will spur expansion of related services for UH faculty and students.

“Many UH instructors are interested in publishing OER, as it eliminates textbook costs for students and allows more flexibility regarding assigned educational materials,” said Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator. “Through the LPC, we can more easily learn from other institutions and incorporate best practices into the OER program at UH.”

Local and national partnerships augment UH Libraries’ collections and services and expand the research environment for faculty and students. Consortia, common in the academic library world, provide access to cost-effective cooperative purchases of licensed resources as well as expedited resource sharing. Learn more about UH Libraries’ memberships and consortia.

By on August 21st, 2019 in Announcements, Featured

New Engineering Librarian

Edward Gloor

Edward Gloor

University of Houston Libraries welcomes Edward Gloor as the new engineering librarian.

Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.

I am very happy to be joining UH Libraries as the new engineering liaison librarian. I’ll be working to strengthen relationships between the Cullen College of Engineering, the College of Technology, and the library through research collaboration and consultation, instruction, outreach, and advocacy. UH Libraries already offers patrons excellent services. I plan on expanding those to augment the work that is being done in the colleges that I work with through new projects, and expanding on projects that I have already done, like my work with VR and 3D objects.

Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian? 

I come from a community centered background that puts listening first to overcome challenges. Liaison librarianship is all about adapting to the current needs of patrons. Through active listening I can work collaboratively with patrons to design solutions that work best for everyone.

What is your first impression of the University? 

The supportive and inviting culture of the University of Houston made my decision to join the library an easy one. I look forward to growing here and I know that I will be supported in that growth.

What is your favorite hobby/cuisine/book/movie?

I love nature photography and hiking. I am so excited to be in Texas where I have plenty of opportunity for both!

By on August 20th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured

New Student Art Exhibit

Emmanuel Oluwaseyi Bamtefa

Emmanuel Oluwaseyi Bamtefa

The Architecture, Design & Art Library is pleased to present a new student art exhibit.

Emmanuel Oluwaseyi Bamtefa’s Culture for the People will be on display August through October.

Bamtefa is a visual artist from New York and of Yoruba descent. He has been an active artist since 2012 and is interested in portraiture and figure painting. Bamtefa is in his senior year at the University of Houston School of Art.

Artist Statement
“As an artist, I look to introduce life of a certain people that is not familiar to the western world. I want to introduce people to a major people’s way of life through imagery and abstraction using different mediums. In this exhibition, I will focus on abstraction of reality from today’s society coming from my upbringing with the things I learnt from my perspective to things that I felt was necessary to talk about.”

A reception will be held on August 9 at 12 noon, free and open to the public. The first 10 guests will receive a gift.