About Bayouth

The Bayouth Collective is a community of young artists (13-19 years old), dedicated to fostering youth-led spaces and initiatives. In this paid program, members of the collective receive artistic and leadership development that prepares them to be leaders in their communities.

Bayouth Collective members will receive close mentorship from Writers in the Schools staff, work with prominent artists from the Houston community, and lead creative writing workshops, monthly open mics and more.

2019-2020 Bayouth Members


Mackenzie Cook is a high school senior from Cypress, Texas. She is a Writers in the Schools Bayouth Collective co-founder and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Cook has been published in Voices, Body Without Organs, Blue Marble, Lithium Magazine and CICADA.

Jackson Neal is a Queer, boundless, Scorpio poet from Houston, Texas. They are a two-time Space City Grand Slam Champion, a National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Spoken Word, and the Youth Poet Laureate of the Southwestern Region of the United States.

Joyane Eriom is a 17-year-old writer and performer from Houston, Texas. Her writing explores the Black experience at the intersection of womanhood, Queerness, and religion. Joyane is also a Space City Grand Slam champion and a member of the Meta-Four Houston slam team.

The Year-Long Program Includes:

  • Artistic development through writing mentorship and performance opportunities
  • An opportunity to learn how to produce and curate an open mic/poetry slam
  • Field trips to local art spaces
  • Monetary honorarium

The Application:

  • After reviewing the first round of applicants, Bayouth Mentors will conduct interviews with the finalists. The cohort of 5 will be chosen after the interviews and notified via email.

Program Requirements:

  • Applicant must be aged 13 – 19
  • Applicant must be willing to dedicate at least 7 hours a month for planning meetings and productions.