WITS is mentioned and Executive Director Robin Reagler is quoted in an editorial in today’s Houston Chronicle. The column is about the spoken word project, Young Houston Writers (YHW). The Houston teenagers who made the YHW team are in Washington DC for the Brave New Voices festival, an international poetry slam. A story from the Chronicle yesterday provides the background information about the program. The team members representing Houston in DC are:
• Brittany Bellgam: Will study English this fall at the University of Texas at Arlington. Of the three pieces she will perform in Washington, she says her favorite, “Success,” gives people insight into her personality. To her, success looks like a new navy-blue suit, feels like being in a healthy relationship and tastes like cheesecake. “I like it a lot, but I don’t get a chance to eat it very often,” she said. ” If I’m successful, then I’m eating cheesecake. If I can afford it, then I’m doing well.”
• Nurbaiti Krueng: Will attend the University of Texas in the fall and plans for medical school afterward. She draws inspiration mainly from her mother’s writing and from her own memories of living in Aceh, Indonesia. She recalls her family being chased through the woods when she was 8. Her family moved to the U.S. shortly afterward.
• Bria Moore: Will return to Jones High School in the fall. She was inspired to continue with her slam poetry work while attending the Vans Warped Tour. She was handed a poster from the animal rights group PETA with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” She said those words inspired her to overcome her own fear of public speaking.
• Donte Newman: Will return to Westbury High School in the fall. He’d love to enter the music and writing world after graduation but plans to attend Prairie View A&M University if that doesn’t happen. His fallback plan is to become a history teacher. “I know teachers don’t make a lot of money,” he said, “but people who make a lot of money aren’t always happy.” He said inspiration comes to him mostly while he works busing tables at Outback Steakhouse.
• Tim Woods II: Will attend Prairie View A&M in the fall to major in business finance. He only recently got into writing poetry and, while he loves it, he hopes to enter the music business and be able to not only write and produce songs but also handle the financial end of things. He finds inspiration mainly from current events. One piece he will perform reflects that interest. It’s titled “Dear Mr. President.”