We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Boyleston and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matthew, why did you pursue a creative career?
I have been involved with the arts all my life. The arts were always a lens through which I could make sense of myself and the world. After years of publishing poetry and essays and teaching, I have recently ventured into the world of arts non-profits. I sit on the board of Catholic Literary Arts, a Houston based non-profit dedicated to promoting writing in our community from a distinctly Catholic perspective.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am the author of one chapbook of poems, Viewed from the Keel of a Canoe, which was released by Educe Press. Although I still write regularly, my teaching and non-profit work have become energetic artistic outlets for me. Each requires surprising creativity and vision. I also recently finished a Masters of Business Administration at Houston Baptist University. I am particularly interested in the relationships between the arts and industry. I think the success of our economies in the future will require people of artistic sensibilities and sensitivity.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To me, the heart of Houston is the Rothko Chapel on the grounds of the Menil Collection. What I love about the Rothko Chapel is how much my reactions to its paintings have changed depending on the season of the year, the time of day, and where I am in my own spiritual life.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would give a shoutout to one of my mentors, the poet Fred Dings at the University of South Carolina. He was one of the first people to see potential in my writing and to model to me the gravity of taking our responsibilities to poetry seriously. He has a new collected poems out, The Four Rings: new and selected poems, which is published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. I suggest everyone check out his poems. They are poems of illumination, spiritual struggle, and the sacredness of the regular life.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.