Join us for a poetry reading and birthday cake to celebrate the late, great poet laureate of Hyde Park: Albert Huffstickler.
Albert Huffstickler (December 17, 1927 – February 25, 2002) was born in Laredo, Texas, but he lived in Austin in his later years, and became a local literary legend. You could usually find him in a café in Hyde Park, decked out in suspenders, smoking, drinking coffee, and working on a poem. (Rumor has it he wrote a poem a day, and his impressive publication record—four full-length collections, plus hundreds of poems published in chapbooks and journals—lends veracity to the story.) He was a two-time winner of the Austin Book Awards, and in 1989 the state legislature formally honored him for his contribution to Texas poetry. In May 2013 a new Hyde Park green space at the corner of 38th and Duval Streets was named Huffstickler Green in his honor. Huff was a friend and inspiration to many, and everyone who knew him talks of his kindness, his honesty, and his passionate support for local literature. Austin Community College English professor W. Joe Hoppe, who will be reading tonight, describes his friend and mentor as “a great encourager of poetry.”