Houston Matters

Houston’s oldest poetry reading series returns for the first time since the pandemic

Poet Chris Wise talks about the First Fridays Reading Series and the role the event played in his life when he was first developing as a writer.


Houston’s Marlon Lizama will be the first featured poet when the First Fridays Reading Series returns April 7.


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More than three years ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic began in the United States, so many events across the nation and in Greater Houston came to a halt. And, while the rodeo, concerts, and sporting events have all been back for a while now, there are still some things that haven't quite made it back.

And, up until this week, that included the First Fridays Reading Series. The oldest poetry reading series and open mic in Houston returns Friday night with a reading by Houston poet Marlon Lizama.

Poet Chris Wise has been going to First Fridays for years and has been a featured reader at the event before. In the audio above, he tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about the event and the role it played in his life when he was first developing as a poet.

Poet Chris Wise in 2018 with a copy of his book about writing, Colliding With Orion: Writing from Life.
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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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