Emanuelee “Outspoken” Bean | Houston’s Poet Laureate
We are so honored to share that Emanuelee “Outspoken” Bean, our very own Meta-Four Houston Coach and WITS Community Connector, is the new Houston Poet Laureate!
As a self-proclaimed “New Jersey-born, San Antonio-raised, and H-Town-based military-brat,” Bean was introduced to world cultures and the arts at a very young age.
Bean began his journey into the world of spoken word in 2005 while attending Prairie View A&M University. By 2007, Bean had founded the university’s first poetry slam team. Of the team’s 6 members, 4 had never performed spoken word. That team then went on to win the title for the region in their first year, which was no small feat! Bean would later go on to perform in front of thousands of people across 35 states and at over 200 universities.
In 2008, Bean helped develop Texas’ largest youth poetry slam team, Meta-Four Houston, with Shannon Buggs and DiverseWorks. Bean still coaches and mentors Houston’s youth to express their own truths through the power of spoken word.
A true renaissance man, Bean believes in using poetry to engage with different mediums in order to create new and captivating art. As such, he was the first poet to perform on Houston Ballet’s main stage with their production of “Play.” Bean was then commissioned to write and perform a national campaign on diversity for Pabst Blue Ribbon and VICE. Bean also created and produced his own festival, Plus Fest: the EVERYTHING plus POETRY Festival.
In a recent interview with Houston Public Media, Bean stated, “I’m not really trying to create an army of poets, but I am trying to create an army of people who are empaths, who feel and think with empathy, and think about others’ well-being rather than just of their own, and (who take) responsibility and accountability [for] their actions.”
To say that Bean has changed the poetry scene in Houston would be an understatement. He is nothing short of a trailblazer, and a source of great inspiration to both the youth he mentors and the staff who have the privilege to work beside him.
“An energetic pioneer for poetry, in all its different sizes and shapes,
Bean is dedicated to making sure that poets get heard.”
Emily Hinds, Arts and Culture Magazine