Houston Matters

African Americans of Houston – a Pictorial History

Posted on · In his new book, African Americans of Houston, author Ronald Goodwin explores Houston’s black community, past and present. The book presents photographs and descriptions that offer examples of people and places within Houston that made significant contributions to African American culture here. We spoke with Goodwin about the challenges of encapsulating a community and a […]

Houston Matters

Houston Libraries Adapt for the Digital Age

Posted on · The Houston Public Library last week announced it’s making available thousands of audiobooks, movies and music titles for free borrowing and streaming online and on mobile devices. It’s a reminder that libraries are much different places today than they once were – or, at least, what we may have once perceived them to be. You […]

Houston Matters

Houston and Texas As Literary Inspiration

Posted on · Poet Ange Mlinko acknowledges that the east coast is the epicenter of the American literary world. However, the author and professor at the University of Houston’s esteemed Graduate Program in Creative Writing says Texas and Houston are fertile ground for literary inspiration. The Lone Star State and the Bayou City have inspired some of Mlinko’s work. […]

Houston Matters

Perfecting Your Craft…of Being a Disgruntled Elf

Posted on · For the sixth straight year, Actor Todd Waite reprises his role as Crumpet, the irreverent elf at Santaland inside Macy’s in New York. The one-many show, The Santaland Diaries, is based on the essay of the same name by humorist David Sedaris — a  piece originally heard on NPR’s Morning Edition in 1992. You’d think […]

Houston Matters

The Hoggs: Getting to Know One of Texas’ Most Famous Families

Posted on · They’re one of those famous families here in Texas. They’ve made significant contributions to Houston history and culture. And yet, there’s a lot you may not know about the Hogg family. We’ll talk with Virginia Bernhard, author of the book The Hoggs of Texas. Bernhard is Professor Emerita of History at the University of St. […]

Full Show

Houston Matters for Tues., Nov. 12, 2013

Posted on · We’ve heard about the woes facing publishing – notable newspapers have shifted to online services, reducing or eliminating their print editions. Long-standing magazines have ceased publication. But as major papers and magazines scale back or disappear, how are Houston’s local community papers doing? Are they picking up the slack? Expanding? Surviving? On this edition of […]

Houston Matters

Organizations Aim to Improve Houston’s Literacy

Posted on · With Houston’s diversity and large immigrant population, it’s no surprise that illiteracy is a problem here. We meet representatives from two organizations working to improve literacy for both children and adults in Houston: Kathryn Bauchelle is a Program Director for Literacy Advance of Houston, which focuses on adult literacy challenges; and Robin Reagler is the Executive […]

Houston Matters

Former Spy Valerie Plame Tries Her Hand at the Spy Novel

Posted on · In 2003, CIA operative Valerie Plame’s cover was blown by members of the Bush Administration after her husband critiqued the intelligence used to go to war in Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was later convicted of lying about his role in the leak. In 2007 Plame wrote a best-selling […]

Houston Matters

Banned Books Week and Creationism in Texas Schools

Posted on · We have a complex relationship, at times, with what books we use, and how we use them, in public education here in Texas.  We have, at times, been at the center of controversy over the language and information presented in Texas classroom textbooks, most notably in the form of occasional challenges to the teaching of […]

Houston Matters

Poetry Slam Team ‘Meta-Four Houston’

Posted on · We meet the Writers in the Schools poetry slam team, “Meta-Four Houston.” The team won the state championship in August and represented Houston in the annual Brave New Voices competition in Chicago. Here’s a video of team-member Sarah Portugal performing a poem:

Houston Matters

Author Exposes Threat of Nuclear Mishaps

Posted on · You may remember investigative journalist Eric Schlosser as the guy who ruined fast food for you, at least for a time. His book Fast Food Nation was a best-selling exposé of the American food industry, and thanks to him, we all know too well how the chicken nuggets are made. Well, now he’s back to […]