Houston Matters

Veteran: Writing About War Isn’t the Best Therapy – But it Helps

Posted on · Houston native Brian Van Reet is a veteran of the Iraq War. While he’s written a fictionalized account of three soldiers’ experiences in Iraq called Spoils, he says writing about war isn’t necessarily the best therapy, in his opinion. He says it’s too public, and the process is too tedious. However, many veterans like him do see value […]

Full Show

LGBTQ Issues in Houston, and Writing About War: Thursday’s Show (June 22, 2017)

Posted on · (Above: Rainbow crosswalks now adorn all four corners of the intersection of Westheimer and Taft in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood in honor of LGBTQ pride. Photo: Gail Delaughter, Houston Public Media)This is Houston Pride Week, one of the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the country. And last Monday (June 12, 2017) marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting […]

Houston Matters

What Happens When Humans Start Reading — and Altering — Their Own User Manual?

Posted on · (Above: Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, cancer researcher and author. Photo: Deborah Feingold) What happens when a machine begins to read its own instruction manual? No, I’m not talking about Skynet (from the Terminator films) but rather humanity’s rapidly increasing understanding of its genome – the code that makes us who were are. We’ve mapped it and identified genes […]

Houston Matters

How a Comedian Ran for Mayor In Iceland and Won — Then Fell In Love with Houston

Posted on · (Above: Houston Public Media’s Edel Howlin poses in 2015 with comedian Jon Gnarr, who once served at the mayor of Iceland’s biggest city.) It’s not that surprising to find all sorts of interesting people rolling through Houston. It is, after all, the nation’s fourth-largest city. And we’re a major player in all sorts of industries. […]

Houston Matters

Writer Lindy West on Confronting Her Internet Troll and Reclaiming the Word ‘Fat’

Posted on · (Above: Lindy West is the author of “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.” Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public Media) We all know the anonymity of the Internet can often bring out the worst in people. But what if you had to face someone who’s harassed you online — in person? That’s what happened to writer Lindy West. […]

Houston Matters

Richard Russo Revisits Fictional Blue-Collar New York Town in ‘Everybody’s Fool’

Posted on · Author Richard Russo is known for his novels, such as Empire Falls, which won him the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002. His third novel, Nobody’s Fool (1993), took place in North Bath, N.Y., a blue-collar, Rust Belt town. But Russo just couldn’t stay away from North Bath and its citizens and denizens. And so, decades […]

Houston Matters

Westerns as Morality Plays: High Noon and the Hollywood Blacklist

Posted on · (Above: Gary Cooper in a scene from the 1952 Western “High Noon.”) Tonight (March 1, 2017) at 7 at Brazos Bookstore, journalist Glenn Frankel will discuss his new book, called High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic.  The book is about the classic Hollywood western High Noon, which, of course, stars Gary […]

Full Menu

Political Roundup, and the Best Places to Watch Sports in Houston: Wednesday’s Show (March 1, 2017)

Posted on · For the first time, President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night (Feb. 28, 2017). Plus the Texas Legislature continued into its eighth week. On this edition of Houston Matters, we convene our weekly political roundup to discuss the those and other political stories happening at the national, state and local level. […]

Houston Matters

Writer Chanelle Benz on Her Collection ‘The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead’

Posted on · Chanelle Benz is a Houston resident and author of a collection of short stories called The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead. The stories span genres, time periods and voices. For instance, there’s a couple of westerns. There’s a story set in the 16th century and a spy drama, to name a few. […]

Houston Matters

The Sadness: A Novel About Film & Failure

Posted on · Among the many authors we interview on Houston Matters, we connect with quite a few of them through Houston’s Brazos Bookstore and, in particular, their marketing manager Ben Rybeck. Now, Rybeck has written a book of his own, a novel called The Sadness. Michael Hagerty talked with Rybeck, who says the book’s about something different […]

Full Show

Dueling Visions for Houston’s Pensions: Tuesday’s Show (June 28, 2016)

Posted on · Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has thus far insisted that however the city’s pension woes are resolved won’t include changing from a defined benefits to a defined compensation system. On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore the differences between the two structures. We also consider what each means for city employees and why the mayor […]

Houston Matters

What’s Behind the Popularity of Coloring Books for Adults?

Posted on · Let’s, for a moment, slip back into those childhood years. Maybe your toy of choice was Legos or a train set. Now, as an adult would you consider pulling out that train set at the end of a work day to maybe unwind, or does that seem ludicrous? And yet, so many people are doing […]