Van G. Garrett
Van G. Garrett
|Pen name||Fui Koshi; Gee Van Garrett|
|Occupation||Poet, novelist, photographer, teacher at Bob Lanier Middle School; professor at University of Houston-Main|
|Education||B.A. Mass Media and English, 1999, M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, 2006|
|Alma mater||Houston Baptist University; University of Houston-Victoria|
|Genres||Poetry, Young Adult|
Van G. Garrett is an American poet, novelist, teacher, and photographer. Garrett's poetry has appeared in a number of well-known American literary journals, including: African American Review; The Amistad; ChickenBones; Drumvoices Revue; Obsidian III; phati’tude Literary Magazine; Pittsburgh Quarterly; Potomac Review; and StepAway Magazine. His works have also been published internationally, including in: Istanbul Literature Review (Turkey); One Ghana, One Voice; Poems Niederngasse (Switzerland); and White Chimney (UK). Garrett often writes poetry with haiku or kwansaba structures.
Early life and college
Van Garrett was born in Wharton, Texas. In 1999, he graduated from Houston Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media and English. In 2002 and again in 2004, Garrett was awarded a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellowship for poetry. In 2006, he received a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston–Victoria. Garrett continues to support an interdisciplinary approach through his focus on ekphrastic interpretation of art. In 2006, Garrett also received a Hurston/Wright Fellowship at American University. Garrett was a reading clinician at the Texas Reading Institute. He also worked at the Center for Academic and Research Skills (CARS) at the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center.
International study and workshops
Upon being awarded the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah International Study Scholarship in 2008, Van G. Garrett studied African American Sociolinguistics and African Philosophy at the University of Ghana. He traveled within Ghana, teaching and reading poetry, and practicing photography. Also in 2008, Garrett's first book of poetry was published. He was a Book-in-a-Day (BID) Fellow in 2010, participating in workshops and cultural fairs in Tuscany. In conjunction with the Writers In The Schools (WITS) program, in 2011 Garrett served as a writer-in-residence in Latvia, teaching creative writing and reading poetry at a White Night festival.
Van G. Garrett has led creative writing workshops at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. His visual art has been exhibited by or displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, University of Rhode Island, and Rice University, and Aurora Picture Show. Garrett has received a Poets & Writers grant, participating in its Readings & Workshops program and has judged National Poetry Slam and ARTlines Poetry Competition events.
In 2015, Garrett collaborated with Don Tate to create a poetry curriculum guide for grades K-5 that aligns with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards. The Texas Association of Authors awarded the 2017 Best Book of African American Poetry award to Garrett's work, 49: Wings and Prayers.
- Smith McKoy, Sheila, ed. (2006). "Kwansabas for Jay Wright". Obsidian III. North Carolina State University. 7 (2): 77. See "Jay Wright" article.
- Abdurrahman, Abdul Ali, ed. (2006). "island kwansabas #1" (PDF). The Amistad. Howard University (fall): 18. Also "miles is cool as hell" at page 19.
- Songs in Blue Negritude. New Orleans, LA: Xavier Review Press. February 1, 2008. ISBN 9781883275181. OCLC 724650541.
- Entzminger, Betine, ed. (2010). "frederick (baily) douglass kwansaba - a poem" (PDF). Making Connections, Interdisciplinary approaches to cultural diversity — Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Frederick Douglass. Bloomsburg, PA: Bloomsburg University. 12 (1): 16. ISSN 1930-1987.
- ZURI: Selected Love Songs. Cap & Sneakers Studios LLC. August 1, 2011. ASIN B005FLU3YC.
- "Gingerbread and Bluegrass". Poetry. Potomac Review. Rockville, MD: Montgomery College (49). 2011.
- Iron Legs In The Trees. Long Island City, NY: Seaburn Books. January 15, 2013. ISBN 9781592323784.
- Carlaw, Darren Richard, ed. (2013). "Walking: Postcard From The Ghetto Part 2". StepAway Magazine. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (9).
- "Change Kwansabas 1 and 5" (PDF), A Change is Gonna Come, Augusta Savage Gallery: University of Massachusetts Amherst, pp. 31–32, 2015, retrieved 26 Dec 2017
- 49: Wings & Prayers. Somerville, MA: Kattywompus Press. 20 Feb 2016. ISBN 9781944252021. OCLC 1003209994.
- Lennox in Twelve: Poems. 45 Alternate Press. 4 Jul 2017. ASIN B073HBD3SZ.
- HOG: Poems. 45 Alternate Press. 18 Jul 2017. ASIN B073WGX1X6.
- Drumvoices Revue (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)
- A kwansaba is an African-American praise poem, with 7 words in 7 lines and no word exceeding 7 letters.
- "Van G. Garrett". SA PoetSource. City of San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
Van G. Garrett *** is the author of Songs in Blue Negritude (poetry), ZURI: Selected Love Songs (poetry), and The Iron Legs in the Trees (fiction). He has worked with middle, high school, college students, and adults for more than 13 years. He has taught reading and creative writing throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. *** Van earned his MAIS from the University of Houston-Victoria and his B.A. from Houston Baptist University. He is the first student to receive a graduate certificate in African American Studies from the University of Houston.
- "Prints: etching, carborundum & monotypes". Lauren Kendrick Sleat.
'a dragging in tx' series in response to Poet Van G. Garrett's Poem by the same name.
- "Author Profile - Van G. Garrett/Fui Koshi". One Ghana, One Voice. August 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- UHV graduate gets book of poetry published, February 14, 2008, retrieved August 23, 2014
- "2010 BID Fellows Program". 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
VAN G. GARRETT (also known as Fui Koshi) is an internationally celebrated artist and author. As a visual artist, Van's / Fui's photography, videos, and paintings have been on display or utilized by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; the University of Rhode Island; Rice University; the International Film Channel (IFC); the Indie Black Film Festival; the Aurora Picture Show; HBO's The Wire: Spoken Word Battle; The Source; and Capitol Records. As a literary artist, Van has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a Dr. Kwame Nkrumah International Study Scholarship; a Poets & Writers, Inc. Readings / Workshops Grant; an Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation Scholarship to attend a Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship; a Hurston/Wright Fellowship for poetry; two Callaloo Creative Writing Fellowships; and a Great River Arts Institute Fellowship. Additionally, he has served as a judge for the National Poetry Slam. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies based in the United States, Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and London. Van has served as a referee for the International Journal of Asian Philosophical Association (IJAPA), and his reviews and articles have appeared in African American Review; Film and History: The Documentary Tradition (CD-ROM); and the Encyclopedia of African American History: 1896 to the Present; From the Age of Segregation to the 21st Century, Oxford University Press. His debut collection of poetry, Songs in Blue Negritude, is published by Xavier Review Press (2008). Van earned his MAIS from the University of Houston-Victoria and his B.A. from Houston Baptist University. He is the first student to receive a graduate certificate in African American Studies from the University of Houston.
- Patronella, Jr., Christopher (August 23, 2011). "100 Creatives: Van G. Garrett". Houston Press. Art Attack. Houston, Texas.
Internationally acclaimed author and artist Van G. Garrett, also known as Fui Koshi -- writer, painter, photographer, musician -- explores and illuminates the world around him, reflecting clarity through simplicity in the power of his words, rhythms and images. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies in the United States, Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and London. His photography, videos and paintings have appeared everywhere from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to the International Film Channel, and he has received many awards and fellowships including a BID Fellowship in Italy and a Dr. Kwame Nkrumah International Study Scholarship in Ghana. *** What's Next: Awarded a grant with the assistance of Writers in the Schools, Garrett will be traveling to Latvia in September where he will be performing, as well as lecturing at a university and conducting workshops in creative writing, poetry and performance arts. In the fall of this year, he will be debuting as a fiction writer with the book The Unbuckling: The Days of Stacy Adams, under the pen name Gee Van Garrett.
- Baltā Nakts, Riga, Latvia: Society for Cultural Communication Center, 2011, retrieved August 23, 2014
- "Skill Set: Ekphrastic Poetry with Van Garrett". s. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- "ARTlines: An Ekphrastic Poetry Competition". 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
Van G. Garrett’s poetry has been published in journals and anthologies based in the United States, Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, London, and elsewhere. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, and has served as a judge for the National Poetry Slam. He has served as a referee for the International Journal of Asian Philosophical Association (IJAPA), and his reviews and articles have appeared in African American Review; Film and History: The Documentary Tradition (CD-ROM); and the Encyclopedia of African American History: 1896 to the Present; From the Age of Segregation to the 21st Century, Oxford University Press. His collection of poetry, Songs in Blue Negritude, published by Xavier Review Press, was introduced by A. Van Jordan in 2008. His second collection, ZURI: Love Songs, introduced by Kwame Alexander, is available on eBooks.
- Tate, Don (2015), Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton. (PDF), Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers, ISBN 978-1-56145-825-7, retrieved 4 Nov 2017. See "George Moses Horton" article.
- "2017 Best Book Awards". Texas Association of Authors. Texas Authors Inc. Retrieved 4 Nov 2017.
- Wilson, Doni (2020-02-07). "Lanier teacher pens poetry collections on pitbulls and prayers". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-03-14.
- Wharton Journal-Spectator, National Black History Month Feature, February 16, 2011
- Official website
- Garrett, Van G.; Cortez, Sarah (August 5, 2011). "Public Poetry - Sarah Cortez & Van G. Garrett". Houston Public Media (Interview). Public Poetry Reading. Interviewed by St.John Flynn. Houston, TX: KUHF. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
Poets Sarah Cortez and Van G. Garrett chat with St.John Flynn