Rain Poems: A Bayouth Collective Project By: Jackson Neal   The National Endowment for the Arts found in 2017 that poetry readership among 18-24-year-olds has more than doubled since 2013, jumping from 8.2% to 17.5%. This makes young adults the largest group of poetry readers in the United States. Young people aren’t just reading poetry… Read more »

Houston’s Youth Poet Laureate Jackson Neal shares a list of poetry reads to celebrate poetry year-round. From new releases to classics, here are some recommendations, hand-picked with descriptions from Jackson.   Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen Nguyen writes about grief and loss with such trembling brilliance. This work does not expel the ghosts, but… Read more »

Gracias   Gracias por las historias de fantasmas De animales y de marcianos. Gracias por lo mágico Porque es más de lo que podría creer Gracias por la música clásica. Porque me da una melodía hermosa Gracias por el cielo estrellado Porque cuando lo miro el me mira hacia mi Y me regala sentimientos Como… Read more »

National Poetry Month at WITS is about spreading the beauty of poetry across the city. In WITS classrooms, students are encouraged to write about what they love–and often, that means food poems! Food, like poetry, brings us together and allows us to express love. That’s why we partnered with six H-E-B locations around Houston to… Read more »

  How to Draw Me   I wish you to draw me well like a person sitting by a mountain. Make my face as precious as a bucket of jewels.   Make my body as strong as a bulldozer, and make my legs as fast as a helicopter wing going full speed.   Make my… Read more »

I Love You I love you so much that I eat thousands of hearts. I love you so much that I talk to butterflies. I love you so much that flowers bloom when I pass by. I love you so much that my soul changes color. I love you so much that I cry chunks… Read more »

AWP 2019 was a huge success! We had so much fun connecting with WITS Alliance members, hosting and attending dynamic panels and readings, and meeting writers from across the country. See some highlights from our time in Portland below! Panel highlights: Literary Changemakers: Representation & Visibility in the Writing World Panelists: Tina Cane, Suzi Garcia,… Read more »

Dear 14-Year-Old Valeria A poem for you:   Singing is your favorite melody. You found out what friendship means and where it lights up. Everyone and everything inspires you to keep moving on. So keep moving on. The day and night are your best companions. You see the world as not dangerous but as freedom… Read more »

WITS is celebrating National Poetry Month! Join us at our WITS events in April–we can’t wait to celebrate poetry with you! Use our hashtag #HoustonIsPoetry to connect with us on social media. April 7th: Space City Slam Grand Slam Watch as the most talented youth poets in Houston perform original poetry in front of a… Read more »

A poem is like when you blow a balloon, and the words go in its stanza or its room.   A poem is when clouds are in your brain and the raindrops are your thoughts.   A poem is when your mind turns to something really special. That is a poem.   -3rd grader, DeAnda… Read more »

WITS Writer Marcia Chamberlain shares this blessing: a 2nd grader wrote this beautiful poem for Mr. Sanchez, the custodian at Oak Forest Elementary.   May you always walk with pride. May you always dream of brooms and mops. May your friends have respect for you. May the wind push you on. May you never feel… Read more »

Winter in Houston isn’t usually snowy. Or cold. But Gia used her chilliest imagination to bring her readers into an icy winter wonderland. Snow Soft Winter Owl   It’s like a soft winter owl whispering through the sound of the wintery soft sky. The snow is like a soft, fluffy blanket floating through the frosty… Read more »

  Cuando veo a mi mama La veo en mi nombre y en mis ojos Cuando escribo mi nombre en el aire Espero y luego hay luces en el Cuando veo a mi papa me siento feliz Cuando veo tristeza Yo también tengo tristeza. Cuando mi mama hace la cena Yo huelo mi nombre en… Read more »

An autumn leaf looks like a boat a heart fire a lizard tail a broken-down rocket ship.   An autumn leaf smells like cinnamon vinegar pumpkin pie money rain dripping on the ground.   An autumn leaf sounds like a drum paper snowflakes Santa’s sleigh shhhh like snow is falling.   An autumn leaf feels… Read more »

Rusty gate at a farm, an old door creaking open. The floor squeaking, an old metal shed.   The haunted house, flickering lights, broken windows, furnace cracked, an abandoned cemetery.   A monster comes out a swamp that smells like sewage. It’s green, slimy. Its eyes are red.   The wind blows leaves, thunder and… Read more »

If Harvey were a girl, I would be so happy.  Harvey would be nice and cute and maybe she’d have a different name.  Her name would be Wendy, like the wind.  Her colors are pink and purple. Wendy is going to play with me.  I like Wendy. She is going to have a pet that… Read more »

Moon, why are you so bright? You show the stars the way through the night. You are the sand man’s face, in my pocket every place. You translate my dreams, and give me dreams of what you mean. Sing me a lullaby! Close my eyes enemy of the sun, mystery of the navy sky. I… Read more »

I was in Beeville for a five-day stay in May to cast the WITS magic in the sleepy south Texas town. Driving down the main drag, you become familiar with the population count (approximately 13,000), clearly marked as you enter then leave the city limits. Along with writers Autumn Hayes, Matty Glasgow, and Dinorah Pérez-Rementería,… Read more »

  A blank paper is not blank at all, it’s a balloon that floats me up into the sky. Up here, I can see everything. When I come back down, I grasp my pencil, kiss the paper. It cuts into what is blank and changes into an explosion of light. I see myself more clearly… Read more »

It was a perfect square. It had four matching corners And four equal sides. And it was perfectly happy… But on Saturday, the square was cut, crumbled, and snipped. So it made itself into a heart that beats, loves, and keeps me alive. By Raynisse, 1st grade Click the media player above to listen to the poem… Read more »