JLF Houston 2022 Achieves Perfect Blend of Physical and Virtual

HOUSTON: After a hiatus of 2.5 years, JLF returned with its fifth edition to the city of Houston in a perfect blend of the physical and the virtual in September 2022.

A festival of literature from all over the world, JLF Houston was an event unlike any other. The literary extravaganza invited people from Houston, as well as from across the United States to celebrate the nuances of human experience through the reflections and imagination of distinguished authors from across the globe.

In a vibrant celebration of art and culture, writers and thinkers from America, Asia, Africa, and Europe took part in thoughtprovoking conversations about photography, mathematics, diaspora writing, history and restorative justice, music and spirituality, and geopolitics, among others.

JLF Houston, held in association with the Asia Society Texas Center, Inprint, and the University of Houston, left a profound impact on the audience members through its penetrating intercultural dialogue, pulling off another successful on ground and virtual edition and reaching a diverse local and international audience base.


CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI is an award-winning and bestselling novelist, poet, activist, and teacher of writing. She has won many awards, including the American Book Award and the Premio Scanno. Her work has been published in over 100 magazines and anthologies, while her books have been translated into 29 languages. She teaches at the internationally acclaimed writing program at the University of Houston.

After leaving Haryana about forty years ago, Hari & Anjali Agrawal moved to Houston and created their life here- family, business, and community. Now their mission is to spread their beautiful culture to the future generations, especially their daughters and grandchildren, as proud supporters of JLF.

DURGA & SUSHILA AGRAWAL are an Indian-American couple. Dr. Agrawal is a member of the UH System Board of Regents and serves as chair on the UH’s endowment management committee. He is the founder of Piping Technology & Products, Inc. The University of Houston renamed an engineering building after Agrawal and his wife, Sushila.

KRUPA PARIKH has been with Inprint, a Houston based nonprofit literary arts organization, for 20 years and now serves as the organization’s Associate Director. Among her many community activities, she has served as President of the Houston chapter of Amnesty International and a commissioner for the Houston Commission on Disabilities under Mayor Annise Parker.

DR. MARIE GORADIA is a former President of Pratham USA’s Houston chapter and is on the Board of Directors of Pratham USA. Dr. Goradia is also the co-founder of Pratham Houston Young Professionals. An active community volunteer, she serves on the boards of the Asia Society and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

MEDHA & SHASHANK KARVE have resided in the Houston area for nearly 40 years. They are strong supporters of the arts. Medha has been a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston for more than a decade.

SHAZMA & ARSHAD MATIN Shazma & Arshad have lived in Houston for 27 years with their three daughters. Arshad is the CEO of Avetta. Together they are involved in many local institutions and nonprofits including the Houston Endowment, Texas Children’s Hospital, Asia Society, Baker Institute, Daya, and the Museum of Fine Arts. They enjoy traveling and hearty meals with family and friends!

RICH LEVY is a poet and, since 1995, executive director of Inprint, a literary organization in Houston, Texas. His collections include Why Me? and the letterpress chapbook One or Two Lights, and his poems have appeared in various publications.

STEPHANIE TODD WONG is the Director of Performing Arts and Culture at Asia Society Texas Center. Prior to this position, she served as the Executive Director of Dance Source Houston and Director of Dance Metro DC. She holds a BA in Dance from Mercyhurst College and an MFA in Dance from George Mason University.