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Author shares poetry at UHV (video)

By Carolina Astrain
Nov. 7, 2013 at 5:07 a.m.

Poet Christopher Howell gave a reading as part of the University of Houston-Victoria's American Book Review reading series Thursday. See video of Howell's reading and speech at VictoriaAdvocate.com.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Paul Ruffin, American Book Review reading series

• WHEN: Noon, Nov. 21

• WHERE: Alcorn Auditorium, University of Houston-Victoria, 3007 N. Ben Wilson

• COST: Free

Wearing a periwinkle shirt, Brandy Leleux, 29, had her face planted between her palms as she listened.

Christopher Howell, an Eastern Washington University professor, read from his collections of poetry, "Gaze" and "Dreamless and Possible," as part of the University of Houston-Victoria's American Book Review reading series Thursday.

Students, community members and UHV employees packed the room to hear Howell.

To control the overflow, ABR staff redirected students to an overflow room where 50 students watched the reading through a live video stream.

The author thumbed the wooden lectern as he began to read a poem about life after death.

"I write a lot about the afterlife," Howell said. "Not sure why; I hope it's not predictive."

From a group of pilgrims crossing continents to observations of people experimenting with mushrooms and a story about a solider abroad, the poet went through several pieces before taking questions from the crowd.

"I'm drawn to fableistic poems," Howell said. "I don't know where they come from or why I do it, but I am attracted to their oddity."

Leleux, the public services manager for the Victoria Public Library, raised her hand to ask a question.

Has the author ever noticed his style change over time because of life experiences, she asked.

"It changes a lot, but there are few major strains that remain," Howell said. "Often what you write isn't about the problem or the point; it's about how you approach it."

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