Cultural Experts Guide and Speakers Bureau

Roger Wood    [Availability]
Historian, Literature Professor
Author, Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues

Roger Wood is the author of Down In Houston: Bayou City Blues (University of Texas Press, 2003), a collaboration with photographer James Fraher. He has contributed chapters or articles to books such as The Roots of Texas Music (Texas A&M University Press, 2003), The Handbook of Texas Music (Texas State Historical Association, 2003), and The Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover's Guide to the U.S. (3rd ed., 2001), as well as the Encyclopedia of the Blues (forthcoming from Routledge in 2005). He has also written for various periodicals, including Living Blues, The Journal of Texas Music History, Arkansas Review, and Houston Press.

A Ph.D. graduate of the University of Houston, Wood teaches writing and literature at Central College (Houston Community College System) in the city's historic Third Ward. In conjunction with the non-profit organization Project Row Houses (a public arts project focusing on neighborhood revitalization, historic preservation, community service, and cultural education), Wood is also the curator and host for an on-going series of programs highlighting and documenting Houston's African American traditions in blues, jazz, zydeco, and gospel music.

The Blues Foundation, based in Memphis, has announced that Roger Wood will receive the 2005 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Literature for his book Down In Houston: Bayou City Blues, which he produced in collaboration with photographer James Fraher.

Previous recipients of this award include playwright August Wilson, poet Sterling Plumpp, musician/writer Bill Wyman (formerly of the Rolling Stones), and B. B. King (for an autobiography co-authored by David Ritz). The award will be presented in February 2005 at a banquet in Memphis.

The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance has announced that Roger Wood and James Fraher will receive a 2005 Good Brick Award for the book Down In Houston: Bayou City Blues. The award will be presented at the GHPA Cornerstone Dinner on January 28, 2005, in the Texas Room of The Houston Club. For additional information on this event, call 713-216-5000.

Roger Wood will publish Texas Zydeco, a collaboration with photographer James Fraher, with University of Texas Press in 2006. Texas Zydeco will be Wood's second collaboration with Fraher and second book published by University of Texas Press.


SubjectsBlues Music; Zydeco Music; African American History in Houston, Texas
PresentationLecture or Formatted Discussion
Note: A photographic exhibit may accompany Roger's lecture by special arrangement with photographer James Fraher.
AvailabilityMedia Interviews and Speaking Engagements
Dates AvailableRoger is currently writing a book, making his availability limited.
Contact InfoContact Houston Institute for Culture at 713-521-3686, or by email at Please include specific information about your request so that we may forward it to Roger.

The Cultural Experts Guide and Speakers Bureau is an effort by the Houston Institute for Culture to promote interest and awareness of cultural and social issues which impact southeast Texas. Houston Institute for Culture does not represent experts and speakers listed here as an agent. We have included writers, researchers, journalists, artists, community advocates and organizers, who we are certain will offer informed, meaningful and interesting presentations of their material. Media and organizers must make arrangements directly with those listed. Because of limited availability or research schedules, some may ask that inquiries be first directed to the Cultural Experts Guide and Speakers Bureau coordinator. You may contact others directly if their contact information is provided.