Meta-Four’s Jordan Makes Houston 100 Creatives!

Posted May 10, 2014 & filed under News, Press, WITS People.

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Congratulations to Meta-Four Houston student Jordan Simpson, named by the Houston Press to their top 100 Creatives list. Last year Jordan and his team-mates won 1st place in the Texas Youth Poetry Slam. This summer they will represent Houston at the International Brave New Voices Festival in Philadelphia.

Post Poetry-Month Thankfulness

Posted May 1, 2014 & filed under Event, News.

Thank you for celebrating National Poetry Month with Writers in the Schools. It has been a huge month for WITS and for poetry in Houston. We have just concluded our first poetry contest in partnership with KPRC Local 2 and our two winners will read their poems to air for Mother’s Day. GONZO247 created a stunning visual of a WITS student’s poem, downtown at GreenStreet, and it was completed on Earth Day. An editorial in praise of National Poetry Month by our executive director, Robin Reagler, was published in the Sunday Houston Chronicle.

If you enjoyed reading poems by WITS students during National Poetry Month, here are some options for staying in the WITS loop throughout the year:

May creativity spur you onward each and every day. Happy May!

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We would like to thank H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and Texas Commission on the Arts for sponsoring Poem a Day. A very special thanks goes to KPFT  90.1 FMJohnston Middle School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Principal Wenden Sanders, his students, and teachers, and producer Susan Phillips for producing and featuring the poems on the radio each weekday.

Young Writers Reading at Menil Fest on Saturday

Posted April 29, 2014 & filed under Event, News.

60 of the finest young writers in Houston will share their original stories and poems at Menil Fest this Saturday at 12 noon. Writers in the Schools (WITS) will host the annual Young Writers Reading at the Menil Collection on May 3, 2014. The event is free, and the public is welcome.

Congratulations to our Poetry Contest Winners

Posted April 25, 2014 & filed under Contest, Event, News.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the WITS + KPRC Local 2 Wax Poetic about Mom 2014 poetry contest. We had nearly 100 entries via facebook and email! We are happy to announce the judge’s choice as well as the people’s choice award winners.

Congratulations to our judge’s choice winner Maddox for his poem “Guardian of Kids” and the people’s choice winner Lauren for her poem “Mommy”.

Make sure you tune in to KPRC Local 2 on Sunday, May 11 to hear these poems on-air! And don’t forget to attend Menil Fest Saturday, May 3rd at 12pm where you can see the winners read live at our Young Writers Reading.

Guardian of Kids
My mom is the ferocious dragon
Defending her egg on the lake.
My mom is the queen of nature
And defender of homes.
She always lets me have
The last piece of food at the dining table.
My mom is the chef of all sweets in the world.
She is the gatekeeper of perfume land.
When I am sick, the bridge to heaven
Opens when she walks through the door.
When I yell for help
She is like a gust of wind ready to aid me.
Whoosh!
by Maddox, 4th grade
Mommy
Most elegant of the family
Honest with people
Most unique in the world
Most secure woman I know
You’re beautiful
by Lauren, 2nd grade

Bringing Poetry to Life in Downtown Houston

Posted April 21, 2014 & filed under Event, News, Notebook.

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Writers in the Schools and GreenStreet have partnered to bring poetry to life in downtown Houston. GONZO247 has created a spectacular new mural using a poem by a WITS-Houston student. Join us on April 22nd at GreenStreet (1201 Main Street) from 12-1 PM for the unveiling of this work of art and for pop-up poetry performances and the chance to meet some of our city’s most talented young writers. There will be a photo booth, and The Golden Grill food will also be parked by the performance.

Poet-to-Poet Project

Posted March 28, 2014 & filed under News, Notebook.

Calling all poets in grades 3-12! Below is an exciting opportunity from our friends at Poets.org:

For National Poetry Month 2014, we introduce Poet-to-Poet, a multimedia educational project that invites young people in grades 3-12 to write poems in response to those shared by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors: Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Edward Hirsch, NEA and Guggenheim Fellow Jane Hirshfield, Lannan Foundation Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye, Pulitzer Prize-nominee Ron Padgett, Jackson Poetry Prize-winner Arthur Sze, and Cofounder (with Allen Ginsberg) of the Naropa Institute Anne Waldman.

Students—to participate in Poet-to-Poet, watch the videos of Chancellors reading and discussing one of their poems. Then, write your own poem in response and email it to us at poet2poet@poets.org by April 30, 2014. Please include your name and the name of the poet below who has inspired your poem. We will consider all student poems for publication on Poets.org in May 2014.

Teachers—if you are interested in using Poet-to-Poet in the classroom, we worked with a curriculum specialist to design a series of activities, aligned with the Common Core, especially for you. Click here for lesson plans.