How to Be a Mermaid

Posted July 14, 2016 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.









Toss glitter in the sea.

Get a mermaid tail of any color.

Loosen your hair

so it can get curly.

Stir pink on your dress.

Gather pink and white pearls

to make a mermaid city.

Use seashells for some pets.

Get some rocks for a house.

If I were a mermaid, I would be happy!

Minha, Patterson Elementary

Yellow Like a Sunflower

Posted July 12, 2016 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

sunflower-1495136_640Yellow looks like the sun shining in the sky.

Yellow sounds like a yellow bird cheeping.

I can smell yellow dandelions when they have their petals.

I can touch yellow banana peels.

I taste a yellow icing cupcake.

If yellow were a person, he would lie under the sun.

By Drake, Memorial Drive Elementary

The Tree

Posted July 11, 2016 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

winter-260838_640The tree is blowing its hair in the air

It has more than one arm, it has legs and hair

It doesn’t like to be cut down

The tree likes animals to hibernate inside it

The tree doesn’t like to be alone

He loves the animals

The tree is warm in the sun

By Addison, Lyons Elementary

Visual Poetry Exhibition Featuring WITS Students on Display

Posted July 6, 2016 & filed under Event, News, Notebook, Poem, Press, Student Writing.


The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Graphic Design Research Initiative (GDRI) and Writers in the Schools (WITS) recently collaborated on a special project that featured WITS students and University of Houston graphic design students.  The GDRI students turned the children’s poems into graphic designs, using inspiration from various fields, including concrete poetry, expressive typography, and Dadaism. The visual poetry exhibition is currently on display in Houston’s City Hall Annex. Click here to read about this innovative project.


Posted July 5, 2016 & filed under Fiction, Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

The mast shakes.

The sail is taut and motionless.

As the wind howls, people yell.

I’m hit in the face with icy sea water. People go down and get back up.

I look over the edge of the ship and see something tap.

I look up and hope to god I’m not the only one that sees it:

a giant blue eye looking down in wonder.

By Max, 8th Grade


Posted June 22, 2016 & filed under Notebook.


Captain, take me on a ride

to a place so wonderful as I hear the

horn honk hard.

It feels like a day when you’re eating your

favorite dish for dinner.

The water vibrating through the boat

as we drive through the Seven Seas.

No matter how long it takes, I want

to go to the boat. I’ll go

No matter what.

Captain, go faster,

I want to feel the breeze.


by Kevin, 3rd grade

Just in Case

Posted June 15, 2016 & filed under Notebook.

Give hope

Bring a book
Write a story
Live a life
Travel around the world
Explore the forests
Swim the seas
Fly the skies
Try new things
Collect rare treasures
Create new things
Sketch a new world
Ride a dragon
Climb a mountain
Walk on a cloud
Swing through treetops
Help your family
Comfort your friends
Be a kind person
Hold life in your hands
Give hope
Show hope
Live in hope
Do all this
Just in case

by Virginia, 5th grade

Meta-Four Students Recording at SugarHill Studio

Posted June 14, 2016 & filed under Notebook.


This Saturday, June 18th, the Meta-Four Houston students will have the honor of recording their poetry at the world famous SugarHill Studios in Houston, Texas. SugarHill has generously donated their time and expertise to give our students the experience of a lifetime!

Some other famous names that have have recorded at SugarHill (maybe you’ve heard of them?) The Rolling Stones, Freddy Fender, The Big Bopper, George Jones, Smash Mouth, Destiny’s Child, Archie Bell and The Drells… the list goes on!

We are so grateful to share these opportunities with our students. Stay tuned for pictures from the upcoming session!

Art + Poetry in the Downtown Tunnels

Posted June 2, 2016 & filed under Notebook.

gdri2WITS has partnered with the University of Houston-Downtown’s GDRI (Graphic Design Research Initiative) program to turn WITS students’ poetry into visual works of art! These works are on display now in the tunnel below Houston’s Downtown City Hall.

This traveling visual poetry exhibition uses techniques from fields that include concrete poetry, expressive typography, and visual literature, getting inspiration from dada-ism and futurism.

Painters use strokes and color schemes to express emotions on the canvas. Writers use words and stories to communicate emotion on the page. This exhibition celebrates the intersection of both worlds.


This partnership was made possible through the City of Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance. Printing support generously provided by Seebridge Media

To Mom: Branch

Posted June 1, 2016 & filed under Notebook.


Someone brought me a branch

Little tiny bugs work inside like ants
I felt happy when I got it
So many ideas of what to build

Someone brought me a branch

by Sa’nia, 1st grade

My Story is in My Hands

Posted May 27, 2016 & filed under Notebook.


My story is in my hands.
My hands help me taste good food and feel soft blankets.
My hands help me hear the piano and smell flowers.
My hands help me see a book.
My story is in my hands.

by Frida, 1st grade

Love Poem for a Cloud

Posted May 20, 2016 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

In the morning when the sun rises I imagine you

as someone I love who has passed away.

My eyes hunt for you when I am sad or mad.

I cherish your lovely whiteness.

You make my eyes water with happiness.

I adore your fluffiness that is softer than a dog.

Nothing will separate us, not even the wind that howls.

Our love is stronger than a lollipop.

I cherish you like a dog who cuddles with me.

In the evening I look up into the dark sky to find you.

I wait to read you a book.

By Kennedy, 2nd Grade

I Love Black

Posted May 17, 2016 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.


Black is the night sky while you are sleeping.

Black is the sound of a crow chirping through the day.

Black smells like shoes on your feet.

Black feels spiky and hard, like a dinosaur’s spikes.

Black tastes like steak that was burned in the oven.

Black goes outside and jumps on a black horse.


by Drake, 3rd grade

Paged Out on May 6th

Posted May 2, 2016 & filed under Notebook.


Meta-Four Houston poets Rukmini and Donald are organizing a youth slam event that will take place on May 6th. Please join us at 6 pm at Sharpstown High School in Houston.


Outspoken Bean Promotes Spoken Word at the Red Cloud Indian School

Posted & filed under Notebook.

fb-Banner-Visiting-Poet-Series-Bean-1Oustpoken Bean motivated and inspired the students at the Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota over the weekend. Many of the students there already perform spoken word, participate in an on-campus writers’ society, and attend Dances with Words, a reservation-wide, afterschool program that holds interactive writing workshops.

Outspoken Bean worked with students as part of the Visiting Poet Series, launched by The Heritage Center and Red Cloud teachers.

“What I want students to take away from these workshops is the desire to explore beyond where they are—to use whatever talent and skills they have to expand and broaden their horizons,” said Bean.

See more at:

Poetry Takes Over Downtown Houston

Posted April 26, 2016 & filed under Notebook.

FullSizeRender 10Houston has installed poetry banners throughout downtown. Featured poets include our very own Executive Director, Robin Reagler, and Writers in the Schools students! As you walk through the city make sure you look up to catch the words on these beatiful banners and if you have a chance snap a picture and tag @witshouston!

The Youth Lead the Way, Space City

Posted April 22, 2016 & filed under Notebook.


12 truly inspired and inspiring young poets will WOW Houston this weekend at the Space City Grand Slam.

The Space City Grand Slam is THIS Sunday, April 24th, 3PM at Discovery Green, sponsored by the Travelers Foundation. Join us to hear the words of 12 talented youth poets as they vie for a spot on the Meta-Four Houston team and a chance to travel to Washington D.C. to compete at the Youth Speaks Brave New Voices International Festival. This event will include special guest JJ from KBXX 97.9 The Box, the official media sponsor of the Space City Slam Series, and DJ Roo. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Poetry Contest | Bayou Preservation Association

Posted April 13, 2016 & filed under Contest, News, Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

BPA logo

Middle and high school students from the surrounding Houston area are invited to participate in the 2016 Watershed Awareness Student Contest! The theme is Our Bayous, Our Pollution. Houston- area bayous and waterways lead to Galveston Bay in turn affecting the Gulf of Mexico and its Flower Garden Banks. Help raise awareness about our local watershed and bring attention to the importance of the health of our local waterways, bayous and our bay! We challenge you to research, explore, interpret and say something meaningful about the connections between human activity and the health of our bayous and ocean through art or shape poetry.

Download the complete contest details here >>

Happy writing!

Congratulations to our prelim slam winners!

Posted April 8, 2016 & filed under Notebook.

Congratulations to our 21 youth performance poets who will be competing in the Space City Slam Semifinals tomorrow, Saturday, April 9th at 12pm and 3:30pm at Meca Houston (1600 Kane St Houston, TX).

12pm Slamguide


3:30pm Slam

Kronic Writer

The top 6 poets from each bout will move on to the Grand Slam Finals at Discovery Green on April 24. Competitors, please arrive 45 minutes before your bout to check in. Good luck everyone! See you there!