The writing process for Somali-born poet Ladan Osman includes studying, reading, music, walks, photographs and, most of all, time.
Osman, the next speaker in the spring University of Houston-Victoria/American Book Review Reading Series, always keeps the reader in mind every time she creates her literature.
“My first drafts aren’t super strong, so I need time to revise and imagine new possibilities,” Osman said. “I also try not to rush myself with submissions or finishing projects because I want to treat each publication like an experience for an interested reader, someone who’s following my work from line to line but is very patient and forgiving.”
Osman is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Alcorn Auditorium inside UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. She also will speak at the Porch Readings at 5:30 p.m. that same day at the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art, 1201 N. Moody St. Both events are free and open to the public.
Osman is the author of “Exiles of Eden” and “The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony,” winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize; and the chapbook “Ordinary Heaven,” which appeared in the box set “Seven New Generation African Poets.” She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, Luminarts Foundation and Michener Center for Writers Fellowship, among numerous other nominations.
“Ladan Osman’s poetry is finely crafted art that engrosses the reader in the emotions on the page,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, ABR editor and publisher. “We are delighted to have her speak about her writing with our students and community.”
Osman organizes readings as if “for one very sweet listener,” which means she usually will not have the same structure twice, she said. She carefully chooses her poems and photographs for each workshop she leads.
“Showing up for a reading is a gift from the audience, so I take that seriously,” she said.
Other authors scheduled for the spring are:
■ Douglas Kearney, April 2 – Kearney is a poet, performer and librettist who has published six books that bridge thematic concerns such as politics, African-American culture, masks, the Trickster figure and contemporary music. His most recent work, “Buck Studies,” was awarded the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award for Poetry, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award and the silver medal for the California Book Award in Poetry.
■ Rick Moody, April 30 – Moody is the author of six novels, including “The Ice Storm” and “Hotels of North America;” three story collections, including “Demonology;” and three works of nonfiction. With Darcey Steinke, he co-edited the anthology “Joyful Noise: The New Testament Revisited.” His most recent work is a memoir, “The Long Accomplishment.” His work has been widely anthologized in “Best American Stories,” “Best American Essays” and The Pushcart Prize, and has been adapted into films, theater works and musical compositions. He teaches at Brown University and lives in Rhode Island.
ABR is a nonprofit, internationally distributed literary journal published six times a year. It began in 1977, moved to UHV in 2006 and has a circulation of about 10,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.
Authors are available after each session to sign copies of their books. Each author also meets with students and attends a community reception while in Victoria.