Keep It Kyle: Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center

September 19, 2019 2:37 pm Published by

When you visit or live in Kyle, Texas, you must stop by the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center. Here’s a little bit about its namesake and what you can expect to see there.

Who Was Katherine Anne Porter?

Callie Russell Porter was a writer, journalist, actress, and political activist born in 1890, just 10 years after the birth of the city of Kyle. Porter’s paternal grandmother Catherine Ann Porter built a three-room house on Center Street.

After Porter’s mother died in 1892, her father moved his four surviving children into his mother’s home in Kyle. The family lived there until her grandmother’s death in 1902. To honor her grandmother, Porter changed her name to Katherine Anne Porter.

Porter won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, a collection of short and long stories. That’s why she’s one of Kyle’s most famous residents.

About the Literary Center

In 1997, the Austin Community Foundation, the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Clayton Fund, and the Burdine Johnson Foundation purchased the home. Bill Johnson and the Burdine Johnson Foundation funded the renovation and completed the restoration by 2000.

The house earned a National Literary Landmark designation in 2002. Four years later, the house landed on the National Register of Historic Places.

As part of a cooperative project between Texas State and the Hays County Preservation Associates, Texas State University leases the house as an extension of its nationally recognized MFA program in creative writing. The university hosts master classes with writers-in-residence that can include readings and book signings. Check the events calendar for the schedule.

Learn More and Visit the Literary Center

The center records all readings, which people can access at Porter House Review (formerly Front Porch Journal), Texas State’s MFA Program’s online literary magazine. Texas State’s Hillviews Magazine delves deeper into the center’s story.

The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center (508 Center St., Kyle, TX 78640) is open to visitors and school groups by appointment. To schedule a visit, email kapliterarycenter@gmail.com or call 512-268-6637.

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