Yellow looks like the sun shining in the sky.
Yellow sounds like a yellow bird cheeping.
I can smell yellow dandelions when they have their petals.
I can touch yellow banana peels.
I taste a yellow icing cupcake.
If yellow were a person, he would lie under the sun.
By Drake, Memorial Drive Elementary
The tree is blowing its hair in the air
It has more than one arm, it has legs and hair
It doesn’t like to be cut down
The tree likes animals to hibernate inside it
The tree doesn’t like to be alone
He loves the animals
The tree is warm in the sun
By Addison, Lyons Elementary
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Graphic Design Research Initiative (GDRI) and Writers in the Schools (WITS) recently collaborated on a special project that featured WITS students and University of Houston graphic design students. The GDRI students turned the children’s poems into graphic designs, using inspiration from various fields, including concrete poetry, expressive typography, and Dadaism. The visual poetry exhibition is currently on display in Houston’s City Hall Annex. Click here to read about this innovative project.
The mast shakes.
The sail is taut and motionless.
As the wind howls, people yell.
I’m hit in the face with icy sea water. People go down and get back up.
I look over the edge of the ship and see something tap.
I look up and hope to god I’m not the only one that sees it:
a giant blue eye looking down in wonder.
By Max, 8th Grade
Captain, take me on a ride
to a place so wonderful as I hear the
horn honk hard.
It feels like a day when you’re eating your
favorite dish for dinner.
The water vibrating through the boat
as we drive through the Seven Seas.
No matter how long it takes, I want
to go to the boat. I’ll go
No matter what.
Captain, go faster,
I want to feel the breeze.
by Kevin, 3rd grade
Bring a book
Write a story
Live a life
Travel around the world
Explore the forests
Swim the seas
Fly the skies
Try new things
Collect rare treasures
Create new things
Sketch a new world
Ride a dragon
Climb a mountain
Walk on a cloud
Swing through treetops
Help your family
Comfort your friends
Be a kind person
Hold life in your hands
Live in hope
Do all this
Just in case
by Virginia, 5th grade
This Saturday, June 18th, the Meta-Four Houston students will have the honor of recording their poetry at the world famous SugarHill Studios in Houston, Texas. SugarHill has generously donated their time and expertise to give our students the experience of a lifetime!
Some other famous names that have have recorded at SugarHill (maybe you’ve heard of them?) The Rolling Stones, Freddy Fender, The Big Bopper, George Jones, Smash Mouth, Destiny’s Child, Archie Bell and The Drells… the list goes on!
We are so grateful to share these opportunities with our students. Stay tuned for pictures from the upcoming session!
WITS has partnered with the University of Houston-Downtown’s GDRI (Graphic Design Research Initiative) program to turn WITS students’ poetry into visual works of art! These works are on display now in the tunnel below Houston’s Downtown City Hall.
This traveling visual poetry exhibition uses techniques from fields that include concrete poetry, expressive typography, and visual literature, getting inspiration from dada-ism and futurism.
Painters use strokes and color schemes to express emotions on the canvas. Writers use words and stories to communicate emotion on the page. This exhibition celebrates the intersection of both worlds.
This partnership was made possible through the City of Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance. Printing support generously provided by Seebridge Media
Someone brought me a branch
Little tiny bugs work inside like ants
I felt happy when I got it
So many ideas of what to build
Someone brought me a branch
by Sa’nia, 1st grade
My story is in my hands.
My hands help me taste good food and feel soft blankets.
My hands help me hear the piano and smell flowers.
My hands help me see a book.
My story is in my hands.
by Frida, 1st grade
In the morning when the sun rises I imagine you
as someone I love who has passed away.
My eyes hunt for you when I am sad or mad.
I cherish your lovely whiteness.
You make my eyes water with happiness.
I adore your fluffiness that is softer than a dog.
Nothing will separate us, not even the wind that howls.
Our love is stronger than a lollipop.
I cherish you like a dog who cuddles with me.
In the evening I look up into the dark sky to find you.
I wait to read you a book.
By Kennedy, 2nd Grade
Black is the night sky while you are sleeping.
Black is the sound of a crow chirping through the day.
Black smells like shoes on your feet.
Black feels spiky and hard, like a dinosaur’s spikes.
Black tastes like steak that was burned in the oven.
Black goes outside and jumps on a black horse.
by Drake, 3rd grade
Check out this interview with WITS Executive Director Robin Reagler in the May issue of Houston Family Magazine (pages 42-43).She talks about her passion for creative writing, storytelling, video game design, and education.
Meta-Four Houston poets Rukmini and Donald are organizing a youth slam event that will take place on May 6th. Please join us at 6 pm at Sharpstown High School in Houston.
Oustpoken Bean motivated and inspired the students at the Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota over the weekend. Many of the students there already perform spoken word, participate in an on-campus writers’ society, and attend Dances with Words, a reservation-wide, afterschool program that holds interactive writing workshops.
Outspoken Bean worked with students as part of the Visiting Poet Series, launched by The Heritage Center and Red Cloud teachers.
“What I want students to take away from these workshops is the desire to explore beyond where they are—to use whatever talent and skills they have to expand and broaden their horizons,” said Bean.
See more at: http://www.redcloudschool.org/news/20160420/visiting-poet-series-spurs-students-passion-for-spoken-word#sthash.bmkbzPR3.dpuf
Houston has installed poetry banners throughout downtown. Featured poets include our very own Executive Director, Robin Reagler, and Writers in the Schools students! As you walk through the city make sure you look up to catch the words on these beatiful banners and if you have a chance snap a picture and tag @witshouston!
12 truly inspired and inspiring young poets will WOW Houston this weekend at the Space City Grand Slam.
The Space City Grand Slam is THIS Sunday, April 24th, 3PM at Discovery Green, sponsored by the Travelers Foundation. Join us to hear the words of 12 talented youth poets as they vie for a spot on the Meta-Four Houston team and a chance to travel to Washington D.C. to compete at the Youth Speaks Brave New Voices International Festival. This event will include special guest JJ from KBXX 97.9 The Box, the official media sponsor of the Space City Slam Series, and DJ Roo. This event is FREE and open to the public.
Middle and high school students from the surrounding Houston area are invited to participate in the 2016 Watershed Awareness Student Contest! The theme is Our Bayous, Our Pollution. Houston- area bayous and waterways lead to Galveston Bay in turn affecting the Gulf of Mexico and its Flower Garden Banks. Help raise awareness about our local watershed and bring attention to the importance of the health of our local waterways, bayous and our bay! We challenge you to research, explore, interpret and say something meaningful about the connections between human activity and the health of our bayous and ocean through art or shape poetry.
Download the complete contest details here >>
Congratulations to our 21 youth performance poets who will be competing in the Space City Slam Semifinals tomorrow, Saturday, April 9th at 12pm and 3:30pm at Meca Houston (1600 Kane St Houston, TX).
The top 6 poets from each bout will move on to the Grand Slam Finals at Discovery Green on April 24. Competitors, please arrive 45 minutes before your bout to check in. Good luck everyone! See you there!
In honor of National Poetry Month Huffington Post recognized 10 amazing Latino performance poetry artists, including WITS writer Zachary Caballero. Check out their videos here!