Van G. Garrett
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Van G. Garrett is an American author and poet. Garrett is also a teacher, novelist and photographer. Van Garrett's poetry has appeared in a number of well-known American literary journals, including: African American Review; ChickenBones; Drumvoices Revue; Obsidian III; Phati’tude Literary Magazine; Pittsburgh Quarterly; Potomac Review; and StepAway Magazine. His works have also been published internationally, including: Istanbul Literature Review (Turkey); One Ghana, One Voice; Poems Niederngasse (Switzerland); and White Chimney (UK). Garrett often writes poetry with haiku or kwansaba structures. As of 2014, two volumes of Garrett's poetry and one novel have published.
Van Garrett was born in Wharton, Texas. In 1999, he graduated from Houston Baptist University with a Bachelor of Art in Mass Media and English. In 2002 and again in 2004, Garrett was awarded a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellowship for poetry. In 2006, Garrett received a Master of Art 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.
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. Garrett traveled within Ghana, teaching and reading poetry, and practicing photography. Also in 2008, Garrett's first book of poetry was published. Garrett 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 frequently leads artistic workshops at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Garrett's 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.
- Garrett, Van G. (1 Feb 2008). Songs in Blue Negritude. New Orleans, LA: Xavier Review Press. ISBN 9781883275181. OCLC 724650541.
- Garrett, Van G. (2010). Entzminger, Betine. ed. "frederick (baily) douglass kwansaba - a poem" (PDF). Making Connections, Interdisciplinary approaches to cultural diversity (Bloomsburg, PA: Bloomsburg University) 12 (1): 16. ISSN 1930-1987. http://organizations.bloomu.edu/connect/fall2010/1%20Intro%20Fall%20(6)_Layout%201.pdf.
- Garrett, Van G. (1 Aug 2011). ZURI: Selected Love Songs. Cap & Sneakers Studios LLC. ASIN B005FLU3YC.
- Garrett, Van G. (2011). "Gingerbread and Bluegrass". Poetry. Potomac Review (Rockville, MD: Montgomery College) (49).
- Garrett, Van G. (15 Jan 2013). Iron Legs In The Trees. Seaburn Books. ISBN 9781592323784. http://www.seaburnbooks.com/Iron_Legs.htm.
- A kwansaba is an African-American praise poem, with 7 words in 7 lines and no word exceeding 7 letters.
- "Van G. Garrett". City of San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development. http://sapoetsource.com/poet/van-g-garrett/. Retrieved 22 Aug 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."
- "Author Profile - Van G. Garrett/Fui Koshi". August 2008. http://oneghanaonevoice.com/2008/08/author-profile-van-g-garrettfui-koshi.html. Retrieved 23 Aug 2014.
- UHV graduate gets book of poetry published, 14 Feb 2008, http://www.uhv.edu/car/newswire/release.asp?id=279, retrieved 23 Aug 2014
- "2010 BID Fellows Program". 2010. http://www.bookinaday.org/index.php?page=about&family=BID&display=147#offset7. Retrieved 23 Aug 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 (23 Aug 2011). "100 Creatives: Van G. Garrett". Houston Press (Houston, Texas). http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2011/08/100_creatives_van_g_garrett.php. "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, http://www.baltanakts.lv/2011/eng/?page_id=333, retrieved 23 Aug 2014
- "Writers Workshops at the MFAH". The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. http://www.mfah.org/learn/literary-events/. Retrieved 27 Aug 2014. ""The MFAH has worked with Houston-based and internationally celebrated literary artist Van G. Garrett to develop three workshops that relate to different aspects of the exhibition. The workshops begin with ice-breaker activities to introduce the theme and stimulate creativity; include access to the WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY exhibition with a gallery talk focused on the day's theme; provide writing prompts and time to reflect and write; allow one-on-one conference time with Garrett; and include lunch, beverages, and snacks. *** Van G. Garrett´s poetry and essays have been published in journals and anthologies based in the United States, England, Switzerland, Turkey, and several African nations. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, served as a judge for the National Poetry Slam and the ARTlines Competition (co-sponsored by the MFAH and Public Poetry), and refereed for the International Journal of Asian Philosophical Association (IJAPA). Garrett earned an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston-Victoria, a BA from Houston Baptist University, and a Certificate in African American Studies from the University of Houston.""
- "Skill Set: Ekphrastic Poetry with Van Garrett". Houston Chronicle. http://events.chron.com/houston_tx/events/show/370670707-skill-set-ekphrastic-poetry-with-van-garrett. Retrieved 27 Aug 2014.
- "ARTlines: An Ekphrastic Poetry Competition". 2011. http://2publicpoetry.net/jury-panel/. Retrieved 27 Aug 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."
- Wharton Journal-Spectator, National Black History Month Feature, February 16, 2011