Ink well” —a suggestion/salutation/blessing to the literary community of Houston, the Texas Gulf Coast, and beyond.

Join writers, educators, activists, and founders of Tintero Projects Jasminne and Lupe Mendez, as they work with Inprint, a 30+ year old nonprofit literary arts organization in Houston, Texas, to host Ink Well, a new podcast available on this page and on SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts for anyone engaged in the world of reading and writing. With their energy, wit, and fresh perspective, Jasminne and Lupe will interview writers (established as well as emerging) from across the United States on what it’s like to “ink well” in this day and age. Welcome to Ink Well: A Podcast Tintero Projects & Inprint.


Episode 2: Daniel Peña

In episode 2 of Ink Well, Jasminne and Lupe chat with Daniel Peña about his new novel BANG.

Daniel Peña is a Pushcart Prize winning writer and Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston-Downtown. His debut novel BANG, published by Arte Público Press, is described by NBC Latino as “such a timely novel that offers devastating insights into how communities adapt to severe shifts in culture and society.” Publishers Weekly says, “Peña examines the symbiosis of the United States and Mexico and makes painfully clear the negative effects of international trade legal and illegal. This is a notable and compassionate novel.” Formerly based out of the UNAM in Mexico City, he worked as a writer, blogger, book reviewer and journalist.  His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, the Kenyon Review Online, Callaloo, Huizache and elsewhereHe’s currently a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Ploughshares blog. He is a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar and a graduate of Cornell University.

Episode 1: Analicia Sotelo

For the inaugural episode of Ink Well, Jasminne and Lupe chat with poet Analicia Sotelo.

Analicia Sotelo is the author of Virgin, the inaugural winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, selected by Ross Gay, forthcoming in February 2018. Bustle says, “Virgin introduces readers to a young, Mexican-American feminist narrator who is sarcastic and unafraid, curious and self-discovering, and interested in everything from unrequited love and heartbreak to un-romanticized sex and the historically fraught terrain of virginity, and so much more.” Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, praises the book: “Sotelo explores the power of mythologizing personal history in her striking debut…and from the start [she] cultivates intimacy through moments of vulnerability….With humanity and raw honesty, Sotelo finds fresh ways to approach romance, family, and more.”

Analicia is also the author of the chapbook Nonstop Godhead, selected by Rigoberto González for the 2016 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship 30 and Under, the 2016 DISQUIET International Literary Prize winner in poetry, and her poem “I’m Trying to Write a Poem About a Virgin and It’s Awful” was selected for Best New Poets 2015 by Tracy K. Smith. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Boston ReviewKenyon ReviewNew England Review, The Iowa Review, and The Antioch Review. Analicia holds a BA in English literature from Trinity University and an MFA in poetry from the University of Houston, and currently serves as Director of Communications and Development for the nonprofit Writers in the Schools in Houston, Texas.

Poems read on this episode are from Virgin by Analicia Sotelo (Minneapolis, Milkweed Editions, 2018). Copyright (c) 2018 Analicia Sotelo. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions. milkweed.org. To pre-order/purchase a copy of the book click here.

About the hosts

JASMINNE MENDEZ, an Afro-Latina who loves cupcakes, wine, and her husband Lupe, received her BA in English Literature and her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The Acentos ReviewCrab Creek ReviewTexas Review, La Galeria,Label Me Latino/a, Gulf Coast, and others. Her first multi-genre memoir Island of Dreams (Floricanto Press, 2013) was awarded Best Young Adult Latino Focused Book by the International Latino Book Awards in 2015. Her second book, Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays & Poems (Arte Publico Press) is forthcoming in Spring 2018. She is a 2016 VONA Alumni, a Macondo Fellow, a 2017 Canto Mundo Fellow, and an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at the Rainier Writer’s Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

LUPE MENDEZ is a Poet/Educator/Activist, CantoMundo, Macondo & Poetry Incubator Fellow ,and co-founder of the Librotraficante Caravan. He works with Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say to promote poetry events, advocate for literacy/literature, and organize creative writing workshops that are open to the public. He is the founder of Tintero Projects and works with emerging Latinx writers and other writers of color within the Texas Gulf Coast Region, with Houston as its hub. His publishing credits include prose work in Latino Rebels, Houston Free Press, Kenyon Review, and Norton’s Sudden Fiction Latino: Short Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, and poetry that appears in Huizache, Luna Luna, Pilgrimage, Border Senses, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Glass Poetry Journal and Gulf Coast. He is currently editor of They Say, the Texas based-YA poetry anthology from Iconoclast Artists. Lupe and received his MFA from the University of Texas @ El Paso and teaches in Houston, TX


Founded by poets Lupe and Jasminne Mendez, Tintero Projects / Proyectos Tintero aims to promote writing and reading opportunities for emerging Latinx poets and writers in the Houston/Galveston/Gulf Coast Region.  Tintero Projects is the emerging writers’ arm of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, focusing on creating workshop and open-mic opportunities in Spanish, English, Spanglish, Indigenous Languages, and Portuguese, and helping to establish a network of Latinx community-based writers.
Currently, Tintero Projects hosts poetry readings in collaboration with local venues and organizations across the city of Houston to showcase the work of national and international Latinx/Latin American writers, hosts a biannual writing workshop series consisting of four sessions per month in the fall and in the spring, and provides a monthly open mic series. For more information click here.

A nonprofit organization founded in 1983, the mission of Inprint is to inspire readers and writers in Houston. Inprint has helped to transform Houston into a diverse and thriving literary metropolis, where creativity is celebrated and Houstonians come together to engage with the written word. Through the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series and Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People, thousands of individuals of all ages meet and hear from the world’s most accomplished writers and thinkers. The Inprint Writers Workshops, Teachers-as-Writers Workshops, Senior Memoir Workshops, writing workshops for veterans, and Life Writing Workshops for healthcare providers help individuals of all backgrounds to become better writers, better understand the world and their place in it, and prepare work for publication. The Inprint Poetry Buskers, with typewriters in hand, demystify and increase appreciation for poetry in communities throughout the city. Inprint’s support since 1983 for the nation’s top emerging writers at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program—more than $4 million in fellowships, prizes, and employment—has enabled more than 500 graduate students to impact their communities and the nation through writing, teaching, and more. For more information click here.


We love hearing from our listeners. If you have feedback about an episode, ideas for an episode, or just want to say hello, contact us at inkwell@inprinthouston.org. Keep reading, keep writing, and of course, keep listening!

Follow Tintero Projects on Facebook and Twitter and follow Inprint on Facebook and Twitter.


Ink Well is hosted by Jasminne and Lupe Mendez of Tintero Projects, produced by Kristen Flack and Krupa Parikh of Inprint, and recorded, engineered, and edited by Josh Walker with One Fifty Media House.

This podcast is made possible by a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Inprint’s other generous supporters.