The Standard is You: Lessons from World-Renowned Writer Chinaka Hodge

Posted by & filed under Notebook.

On Saturday, February 3rd, students from around the Greater Houston area streamed into Queensbury Theatre to learn from poet, playwright, and screenwriter, Chinaka Hodge, during a free youth workshop hosted by Writers in the Schools and Meta-Four Houston. The author of three books, including the 2016 collection of poetry, Dated Emcees, Chinaka’s poems, editorials, interviews… Read more »

Spend Saturday mornings with WITS at Discovery Green!

Posted by & filed under Event, free Houston event, Notebook, Student Writing, WITS People.

With fun and interactive writing activities to spark the imagination, the Young Writers Workshop helps children develop their language and creativity skills. Each workshop features two WITS writers. Each participant receives one-on-one interaction and feedback. Held Saturdays at the Houston Public Library Express location at Discovery Green from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, the workshop… Read more »

Texas Studio: Elizabeth Keel

Posted by & filed under Classroom Reflections, Notebook, WITS People.

    Congratulations to Writers in the Schools writer, Elizabeth Keel, for her feature in Arts & Culture Magazine. She talks acting, directing, grad school and why she loves teaching with WITS!   “Nobody’s worried about grades. Instead, we give the kids the time they need to interact with language and build their confidence. It is… Read more »


Posted by & filed under Notebook, Public Poetry, Student Writing.

I am fire in the wind. One little spark can ignite the entire world. The air crisp and smokey, the fire big and beautiful. I am that wildfire, spreading like gossip in teen girls’ hands. My ways of life are dangerous; I lunge from tree to tree, It takes 1,000,000 people to slow down my… Read more »

Writing The City :: Workshop for Educators

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Writing the City Buffalo Bayou: Nature and Nurture February 10 & 24, 2018 | 9am-12pm | $100/ participant >> Register Today <<   WITS is excited to offer a new writing workshop series for K-12 educators. Join us for our two-part writing on location adventure. In this writing workshop for educators, participants will write on location… Read more »

The Shelter of Imagination

Posted by & filed under Notebook, WITS People.

Meggie with Armoney, age 6, at George R. Brown Convention Center Days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, WITS Program Manager, Meggie Monahan, volunteered at George R. Brown Convention Center, reading, writing, and playing with children who had been displaced by the storm and floodwaters. Meggie reflects on the power of imagination, the generosity of listening, and… Read more »

#RethinkHighSchool: An Open Forum

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Empowering youth voices is at the core of our mission at WITS. That’s why we partnered with XQ America and Brave New Voices to bring the Rethink High School campaign to Houston, creating an open forum event where youth from across the city can voice their ideas of what high school can and should be,… Read more »

The Young Writers Reading at The Menil Collection

Posted by & filed under Notebook.

Each year, The Menil Collection opens its doors to dozens of WITS classrooms, giving students the opportunity to see an extraordinary collection of visual art that heightens the senses and stretches the imagination. As students take a tour of the museum’s collections, they write poems and stories inspired by the art they see, making connections… Read more »

The Birth of Color

Posted by & filed under mentor text, Notebook, Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

  The beautiful sunset making shades of blue, green, red, pink, yellow, and orange, eyes of the wandering beings opening, looking, watching from their windows, the golden yellow tree, the sunset lake, children playing, bluebirds chirping, the blue leaves, dark green haunting shadows, a red horse, people hard at work, a bright sunny day, trees… Read more »

Library Music

Posted by & filed under Notebook, Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

  This library music, With the always-noise of Strangers coughing People falling in love Smooching around the corner Librarian shushing my crying cousin   Vocabulary of Cough       Who         Kiss         Shhhhh….. Language combinations, Beauty to my ears With the always-music of Pages turning over and over, Books falling from the shelves, People’s laughter   The always-noise… Read more »

How to Paint a Moody Sea

Posted by & filed under Notebook, Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

First paint wind, the kind that creates the shimmering waves. Add the glow of the sleeping sun. Next, place your canvas in the sand in a tide pool or where the clams build the shells. Paint without thinking or moving and wait for the sun’s expression to turn soft and light. Then draw the shadowy… Read more »


Posted by & filed under Notebook, Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

One lonely daisy drinking from its straws, eating fresh sunlight after the storm.   by Paloma, 2nd grade Click the media player above to listen to the poem read on Sunny 99.1, KPFT 90.1, and KTRU 96.1 Audrey, WITS Youth Advisory Council Student. The background music is “Rain Stops Play” by Ketsa. Produced by Susan Phillips. Poem a Day is made… Read more »

Be Brave

Posted by & filed under Notebook, Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

Be brave. You will find your way using long strides. You will fill your cracks with gold. Swallow darkness like lemonade and savor its twisted flavor. Scramble into the unknown. You can’t help but smile. Your heart will beat its fractured tune and one speck of dust will fall from your tattered suitcase of regrets. You… Read more »

Poet-trees Are Growing All Over Houston

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Just as trees are a symbol of the strength of nature, poet-trees are a symbol of the strength of a community. This #NationalPoetryMonth, we have been amazed at Houston’s response to the poet-trees at Buffalo Bayou Park. We’ve already collected have over 1,000 poems from people of all backgrounds, in multiple languages. DIY poet-trees are… Read more »

Introducing Houston

Posted by & filed under Notebook, Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

[excerpt] Where you can go to the rodeo and see farm animals Where you see abstract and landscape art in museums and on the streets Where you smell meaty, smoky brisket and tacos from food trucks Where it sounds very busy from cars on the freeway Where the people are from different cultures, Where the… Read more »

Cool Brains Inprint Reading for Young People

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Meet Diane K. Salerni, author of The Eighth Day series, at the Cool Brains Reading on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 3 p.m. She will be reading at Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School. A book signing will be available on a first-come, first served basis, with doors opening at 2:15 p.m. Did you… Read more »

My People

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I am from the Middle East where the Arabs roam. I am from kebabs and hummus, spaghetti and shrimp. I am from Azhar and Abzar, some good old friends. My brothers are from them, too. I am from a whole family tree sprouted in the little country Iraq. I am from a father who works… Read more »