The University of Houston System Board of Regents presented the Regents’ Academic Excellence Award to the American Book Review (ABR) Reading Series at the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV). The award recognizes University of Houston System institutions’ programs and initiatives that exemplify excellence in teaching, research, and/or public service.
The American Book Review was founded in October of 1977 as a response to the absence of reviews for independent press books. The reviews of these books, published by over 300 independent presses, would receive little national coverage compared to those published by larger and well-known presses. With a focus on works by women, minorities, and the LGBT community, the focus of the American Book Review reflects the diversity initiatives of the University of Houston-Victoria as well as the University’s position as a Hispanic Serving Institution.
The Reading Series, launched in September of 2006, brings literary artists featured by ABR to the South Texas region. Events offered as part of the series include a public lecture and discussion; an author roundtable discussion with UHV students, faculty, and community members; individual master class consulting for graduate, upper-division, and high-school students; and podcasts of reading series lectures. To date, 89 writers have participated in the Reading Series.
“As a result of the American Book Review Reading Series, UHV has developed a top 10 Master’s Publishing Program, received national funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), increased our community outreach, development, and engagement, and further enhanced the reputation of UHV as a nationally-recognized hub for humanities publication,” said Jeffrey R. Di Leo, publisher and editor of the American Book Review, and dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Houston-Victoria.
“We are proud to recognize the achievements of this longstanding program with the Regents’ Academic Excellence Award,” said Paula Myrick Short, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, University of Houston System and senior vice president of academic affairs and provost, University of Houston. “The American Book Review Reading Series furthers our connection with the campus community and sheds light on the works of outstanding writers within our region.”
(This article was written by Christine Klocke, director of marketing and communication for UH's Office of the Provost.)