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Houston Poetry Fest 2017

Houston's oldest poetry festival, celebrating it's 32nd Anniversary!


October 13, 14 & 15

Welcome Center

of the University of Houston – Downtown,

3rd Floor, Girard St. Bldg, 201 Girard Street

in downtown Houston, Texas

"Once a year, in October,

Poets and lovers of poetry

Gather together at UH-Downtown

To celebrate the art of poetry and those who create it."

Admission to all the readings listed is

free and open to the public.


See the Submissions Guidelines page

Submissions are accepted each spring and early summer, so "Juried Poets" can be selected by the "blind jury" method – the judges are shown only the five-page samples of each submitting poet's work without seeing their names.  Each year, the Juried Poet(s) receiving the highest score from the judges is/are invited back the following year to be Featured Poet(s).

Sponsored by Houston Poetry Fest, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, to which tax deductible donations can be made; Co-Sponsored by the Department of English and the Cultural Enrichment Center of the University of Houston-Downtown.

This page was last updated Oct 13, 2017


All women poets submitting entries to Houston Poetry Fest 2017 will automatically be considered for a cash prize established by Sandi Glorfield in honor of the late Lorene Pouncey, who passed away December 4, 2011.

Lorene Pouncey, one of the founders of Houston Poetry Fest in 1985, was a life-long lover of poetry. She began seriously writing it in 1963. When Houston Poetry Fest was organized by her, Patricia Roberts, and Prof. George Williams, she became its most enthusiastic volunteer, and remained active on the Steering Committee for many years. She continued writing poetry until her health started to decline in the middle 2000s. A well-recognized scholar, Lorene spoke several languages, and loved learning and reading about everything. For instance, she was a scholar on Hildegard von Bingen. She served in the United States Air Force as a First Lieutenant, worked at the Library of Congress, and served as a librarian at the University of Houston for many years. This award is established in honor of her love of poetry and to ensure that she will be remembered by other poets. The award will be a check to be given each year at the Friday night session of Houston Poetry Fest to an outstanding woman poet chosen by the Houston Poetry Fest judges on the basis of the quality of the poems in her submission.


All Juried Poets who are K-12 classroom teachers are eligible for the Lucille Johnson Clark Memorial Award. A $100 cash prize is provided to the winner. The award was established by Robert Clark in honor of his late mother, who was a classroom teacher.


(for youth poets only)

Youth poets aged 14 or younger in October who submit to the Youth Poet Competition are eligible for the Mary Villarreal Memorial Award, established by Richard Gamez in memory of his mother, who greatly loved children.

The winner receives an award of $100, and is invited to read one of his or her poems during a session of Houston Poetry Fest.