A Poet

Posted April 1, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.


When a poet stares at time, everything stops.

When a poet loves, he freezes,

and his heart bursts open like an over-ripe banana.

When a poet thinks, he is so happy he will melt of happiness.

When a poet is angry, he will go crazy.

When a poet is sad, he will cry to death.

When a poet travels to a new land, he gets lost.

When a poet imagines, he sees himself as an astronaut

and then becomes one.

When a poet writes,

he believes nothing is wrong

because he is at his best.

By Saadat, 3rd grade

[audio http://wits.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/01-mon-apr-1st-rev.mp3]

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Evangeline Gowen, an 8th  grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is by the Michael Silverman Jazz Piano Trio.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

You Could be the First Houston Poet Laureate

Posted February 27, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

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The Houston Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs are pleased to announce the newly-established

HOUSTON POET LAUREATE PROGRAM
2013 CALL FOR APPLICATIONS/NOMINATIONS
DEADLINE: March 8, 2013

Mayor Annise D. Parker announces the application/nomination process for selection of Houston’s first Poet Laureate. Submissions are welcome from persons nominating a poet for the position of Poet Laureate or from individual poets who are seeking the position. Only online applications will be accepted.

GUIDELINES

Mission Statement: The Houston Poet Laureate Program (HPLP) celebrates Houston’s rich culture and diversity through the work of a poet who will represent Houston by creating excitement about poetry through outreach, programs, teaching, and written work.

Term of Service: The term of service is two years. The current term will commence in April 2013 and expire in April 2015.

Term Expectations:

• Develop a community outreach project in which the Poet Laureate shares the art and love of poetry with a non-traditional and/or underserved audience.
• Plan and/or attend at least 4 community-based poetry programs per year. These may include public library programs, civic and other forms of community events.
• Provide content to the Houston Poet Laureate Program web page.
• Prepare and provide an annual written report of activities.

Criteria for Nomination and Selection of Poet Laureate:
• Have strong ties to the city of Houston and a strong interest in serving the city.
• Residence in Houston of at least 4 years.
• Experience in public speaking and public performance. Some teaching experience is preferred, but not required.
• Must have a body of published work, including at least one full-length book (not self-published or vanity press) or CD (not self-produced) or at least 20 published poems in established publications (print or online) over the past 5 years.
• Must be at least 21 years of age and not currently enrolled in an academic program.

HONORARIUM

• The Houston Poet Laureate will receive an annual honorarium of $5,000 through the
City’s Initiative Grant Program of the Houston Arts Alliance.

APPLICATION/NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS:
• A nominating statement of 2 or 3 paragraphs detailing why the nominee would be a good
selection for the Houston Poet Laureate Program.
• A writing sample of 10-15 pages in length consisting of select poems or other literary works.
• Résumé or curriculum vitae, not to exceed 2 pages.
• Brief biography, not to exceed 1 page.
• Proposal for a community outreach program, not to exceed 1 page.
• If the application package is submitted by a nominator (rather than the poet) a statement
by the nominated poet that he/she is aware of the nomination and is willing to fulfill the
requirements of the program if selected.
• Completed application packets should be submitted either as MS Word or PDF documents
via e-mail to [email protected], (Note: All nominations submitted must be
complete and fulfill all requirements. Incomplete nomination packets will not be considered.)

SELECTION PROCESS:

• Mayor Annise Parker, along with Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, has appointed the Houston Poet Laureate Selection Committee, a group of acknowledged and diverse poets, scholars, and literary experts, to assist in the nomination and selection process. The group will be chaired by a library representative who will be a non-voting member of the committee.
• The selection committee will review all applications, which will be scored on a 100 point scale, with up to 70 points for artistic quality of the work sample, experience, and other professional accomplishments, and up to 30 points for the quality of the proposed outreach project.
• Finalists will be interviewed in person by the committee in late March and early April.
• The names of the finalists will be forwarded to Mayor Annise D. Parker and Library Director
Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, in order of preference, for their approval and FINAL SELECTION.

• The Poet Laureate will be announced in April 2013 to coincide with National Poetry Month.

Horse Barn

Posted April 26, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.


When we get there

the horses in their stalls

paw the dirt.

I cough in the dust.

We grab the feed,

and they whinny at me

when I pass by.

I get a brush; very tenderly

I scrape off the dirt.

They are as dusty and steamy

as a train when it chugs

down the track.

When we feed the mares,

their babies skip after us.

They run so fast

they fall.

by Isabella, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Gabriel Arnold, a 4th grade student at Parker Elementary in Houston.

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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

The Rock

Posted April 25, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

I block

the feelings that beat

against my shell.

I have beauty inside me

longing to be shown

to the world.

I am stiff with

the emotions that swirl

in my body.

I watch the butterflies

dance around me

with flaps of pride.

When it rains, I show

my shiny shell to the

lady called the flower.

She drops a warm petal on me

to show that we are no

different in soul.

For what would life be

without soul?

It doesn’t matter

what you have within,

only the soul matters.

As the sun’s rays hammer

into me, my beauty

faintly shows.

I am a rock.

by Ioana, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Thomas Girardet, a 4th grade student at Parker Elementary in Houston.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

I Wish I Was a Super Hero

Posted April 24, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

I wish I was a super hero so I could fly

to see the earth,

to fight evil

so I could help the world.

Maybe I could be rewarded with something

if I fight the most dangerous evil villain.

I could be defender of my city,

and the most famous hero in the world

and everyone would know my name!

by Edwin, 2nd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Ella Dale, a 2nd grade student at Parker Elementary in Houston.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

Bring Me the Happiness

Posted April 23, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Photo by Kate Brennan

The dream of freedom

Is the dream I seek

To escape these four

Walls which surround me.

To finally be able to dream

And think that I can make

All my dreams come true.

The dream of freedom means

No more threats

No more harassing words

No more “I am not the same.”

No more shame for not being like you.

This dream seems like it’s too far away

But bring me freedom!

Bring me the happiness of the day

When no living human will be ashamed

Of the way they look or feel.

Just bring me the dream of freedom

That one day is almost here.

Let it begin today.

by Kelly, 6th grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Alex Puente, 4th grade, and Kennedi Foust, 2nd grade, both students at Parker Elementary in Houston.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

Singing Birds

Posted April 10, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

In the morning a bird sings

“chirp, chirp, chirp.”

It sings about how it wants

to use words instead of sounds.

Soon there is a choir of birds

singing about what they want to do.

They will sing about eating good food,

about being grown.

They will sing about human things,

how they would want arms for wings,

and mouths for beaks, singing.

by Luke, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Alexandra Maynard, a 4th grader from Parker Elementary.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

Wake Up

Posted April 9, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

(inspired by Anis Mojgani’s “Direct Orders”)

Wake up like there’s no tomorrow

Wake up like you’ve had a bad dream

Wake up like there’s a tiger racing after you

Wake up like the sky is falling

Wake up like your house is on fire

Wake up like you’re being chased down the street

Wake up like you’re Batman beating the Joker

Wake up like you’re late for basketball practice

Wake up like you didn’t finish your homework

Wake up like you’re ready to start the day

Wake up like you’re happy to see your friends

Wake up before you fall back to sleep

Wake up like you have a fridge full of Dr. Pepper

Wake up like it’s time for the cheer competition

Wake up like the universe is ending and

you only have one chance to be yourself.

By Alyssa, age 11

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Laura Anawaty (4th grade) and Jacob Goins (2nd grade) from Parker Elementary.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

La mariposa/The Butterfly

Posted April 6, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Un día vi una mariposa.

Yo me asomé por la ventana, y me salí de la casa.

Yo quería agarrar esa mariposa tan bella.

Corrí y tomé mi bicicleta para poder atraparla.

Después me subí a un avión para poder atraparla.

Luego la toqué y se sintió suave. Pude oler un rico perfume.

Yo escuché a la mariposa que seguia volando.

Mi corazon se sintió feliz de ver a la mariposa rosada tan bella.

Por eso me sentí contenta y feliz.

~

One day I saw a butterfly.

I looked out the window, and I went out of the house.

I wanted to catch the butterfly, it was so beautiful.

I ran and took my bicycle to try to catch it.

After that I went up in an airplane to try to catch it again,

then I touched the butterfly which felt so soft. I was able

to smell a magnificent perfume.

I heard the butterfly that continued to fly.

My heart felt happy to see the pink butterfly so beautiful.

For all these things I felt so content and happy.

By Emily, Kindergarten

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Chase Hayes and Van Logan Garcia, 4th grade students from Parker Elementary.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

Lily Pads

Posted April 4, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

I like the lily pads that float on the pond

Green with a touch of pizzazz

The lily pad is the only one who has a heart

It spreads its magical beauty with its pinky petals

They come in all shapes and sizes

One is purple, a small sliver like a broken heart

It is a beautiful thing to look at in winter

by Alvara, 4th grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Jennvie Bui, a 2nd grader from Parker Elementary.

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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

The Silent World

Posted April 3, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

(inspired by a poem by Jeffrey McDaniel)

The government has decided

to only allow us 167 words per day.

Nobody hears me.

The only one who hears me is my Grandma

because it’s silent, and she’s the one who sits with me.

And at school there is touching but not talking,

just making hand signals.

I feel like I’m not on the planet.

And when I get home nobody is talking.

I want to save my words for my Grandma

because she is so sweet.

I would like to tell her, “I love you.

You are my soul. You are my sky.”

By Natalia, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Marin Hart, a 4th grader from Parker Elementary.

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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

Public Poetry Readings

Posted March 30, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) loves Public Poetry, and we know you do too!  Please read the latest from our friends at Public Poetry. Go to the readings and hear WITS students read their work alongside accomplished poets.  Read the invitation below and mark your calendars:

We’re celebrating our 1st anniversary and National Poetry month in a big way with two events in the month of April. Look for poets downtown at the newly restored Julia Ideson Building, across from Central Branch Library, onSaturday, April 7, at 2 PM, and more poets again at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Brown Auditorium two weeks later, on Saturday, April 21, at 3 PM.

We’re delighted to confirm that Houston Mayor, Annise Parker, will be joining us as the special guest of honor for the Public Poetry library reading series. Last year, our Poet Mayor read one of her own compositions and also selected My Parents Watch the July Fourth Parade by Richard Beban. We’re eagerly anticipating her additions to the April 7 program, where featured poets –Mike Alexander, Janet Lowery, Jeremyah Payne/The Fluent One and Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan – will be reading. Noted architectural historian, Stephen Fox, will also be speaking briefly about this special library building.

Since Fall 2011, we’ve been telling you about the ARTlines ekphrastic poetry competition in collaboration with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  On April 21, we reveal the winning poems at a special museum event.  There will also be contributions from the jurors – three Texas Poets Laureate among them –docent led tours and a museum reception.  And, poetry will continue to have a presence at the MFAH on their web site, on wall labels and as a cell phone audio stop.   See ARTlines tab (next to Community Links) for additional details.

The public is welcome at both events.  The library event is free, and the museum program is free with general museum admission.

See you there!

Sign Up for A Poem a Day in April!

Posted March 15, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) celebrates National Poetry Month locally through bookmarks, public readings, and our email campaign, A Poem  A  Day.

Through this project, WITS will email a child’s poem each weekday during the month of April. If you subscribe to our blog, A Poem A  Day,  you know how inspirational it is to open your email or RSS feed each morning and be surprised by the words of children as young as 5 years.

All poems featured in A Poem A Day are written by students in grades K-12 who have participated in the WITS program. If you have a friend who appreciates the written word as much as you do, suggest they subscribe or sign up for a poem in April by clicking this link.

Be on the lookout in the coming days for ways you can share poetry with children all month long.  Here are the words of WITS student Quondaijah, a fifth grader, in honor of National Poetry Month:

We understand the sky

and see, laugh,

and love poetry.

Farewell, Poetry Month 2011

Posted May 4, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

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Thank you for participating in A Poem A Day with Writers in the Schools (WITS). We hope that you have enjoyed reading these poems by WITS students during April, National Poetry Month. If you enjoyed this project, here are some options for staying in the WITS “loop” throughout the year:

Thank you for participating in A Poem a Day with the Writers in the Schools (WITS). We hope that you have enjoyed reading these poems by WITS students during National Poetry Month. If you enjoyed this project, here are some options for staying the the WITS “loop”:
Please leave comments on your favorite poems on the WITS blog. The students will really appreciate your positive feedback.
Add the WITS blog to your bookmarks or feed reader.
Send a kid to summer camp.
If you live anywhere else, look up a similar program in your area.
If you’d like to make a donation to keep the Writers in the Schools programs growing and reaching as many Houston-area youth as possible, please click here.
We would like to thank the Houston Arts Alliance, the City of Houston, the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Public Library, and the Texas Commission on the Arts for sponsoring A Poem A Day 2008.
Thank you for celebrating National Poetry Month with WITS. Stay tuned to this blog for more writing from WITS students, writers, and staff.Thank you for participating in A Poem a Day with the Writers in the Schools (WITS). We hope that you have enjoyed reading these poems by WITS students during National Poetry Month. If you enjoyed this project, here are some options for staying the the WITS “loop”
  • Please leave comments on your favorite poems on the WITS blog. The students will really appreciate your positive feedback.
  • Add the WITS blog to your bookmarks or feed reader.
  • Become a fan of WITS on facebook.
  • Send your child to our creative writing summer camp.
  • If you’d like to make a donation to keep the Writers in the Schools programs growing and reaching as many Houston-area youth as possible, please click here.
We would like to thank the Houston Arts Alliance, the City of Houston, the Houston Public Library, and the Texas Commission on the Arts, for sponsoring A Poem A Day 2011.
A very special thanks goes to the staff at KPFT  90.1 FM, Sharpstown High School Principal Robert Gasparello, his students, their teachers, and producer Susan Phillips for featuring the poems on the radio each weekday, a few of which you can hear by clicking the following links:

The rockin’ readers were:

Jerrell Hill, 10th grade
Princillar Agyapong, 12th grade
Gloria Johnson, 12th grade
Kori Walker, 11th grade
Joseph Butler, 12th grade
Alyssa Arteaga, 12th grade
Jonas Aguero, 12th grade
Ana Sanchez, 12th grade
Aryani Peres, 11th grade
Hazel Kate Camat, 12th grade
Torrin Guillory, 9th grade
Jorge Aguero, 12th grade
Darnell Anderson, 11th grade
Jaron Barnes, 12th grade
Ronny Ellison, 11th grade
Demetrick Miller, 12th grade
Starlesha Basha, 11th grade
Concepcion Cisneros, 12th grade
Keidra Gartica, 12th grade
Kalari Faultry, 12th grade
Juana Rodriguez, 11th grade
Deondra Walters, 10th grade

Visit this blog year-round for more writing from WITS students, writers, and staff. Remember, every month is poetry month on the WITS blog. Get your daily poem and be reminded of the finer things in life.

What Words Can Be

Posted April 7, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Words can be sour
like a pickle or
sweet like sugar.

Words can roar
like a motor or
vanish like magic.

Words can be warm
like a mitten or
hot like the sun.

Words can be memorable
like the friend your
heart once had.

by Hana, 3rd grade 

 

 

 

 

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.  

Green

Posted April 6, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

What is Green?
Is it the fresh cut grass or the lime in your tea?
Does it feel like the powder when you put your makeup on?
Green is life.
Looking at the bright green field makes you root for your team.
The celery in
your hand.
The green water.
Listen.
Wait.
Splash!
Seeing an island as the green kingdom where
Green trees with leaves blow
silently in the
wind.
Money crackling in your hand. You’re on top of the world.
This is green.

by Ananda, 5th grade

Photo By Kit Keat via Flickr

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to the left to learn more.

Child of the First Daughter and the Last Son

Posted April 5, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

I am from the pink ribbons,
the hot delicious coffee.
I am from the back deck.
I am from the purple roses,
the beautiful blue lake.
I am from the traditional everyday home-cooked meals
and the stubbornness that runs in my blood.
My parents are the first daughter and the last son
So I am from the respect your elders and don’t talk to strangers.
Still, I am from a less than pious family.
I am from the blue waters and spicy shrimp and greens —–
I am from Casper the ghost and winter —o.k.
Summer trips to the beach.
I am from the black long box containing childhood pictures of my family and good memories.

by Kasy, 7th grade

Photo by KaroliK via Flickr

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to the left to learn more.

My Magic Box

Posted April 4, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

I would put into the box
friendship bracelets, red roses,
a bit of my friend’s hair.
I would also put my favorite
pictures, and sand from
the beach in Mexico.
I would put all that in a shiny
gold box with shooting stars
on it. I would also put my doll
that I got for my birthday.
I would put in a dolphin
and my baby brother, too.

by Rebeca, 4th grade

Photo via Embellishment Queen via Flickr

 

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to the left to learn more.

Get Your Poem a Day YOUR Way

Posted March 24, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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April is just around the corner and WITS is ready to celebrate National Poetry Month with our annual A Poem A Day campaign. Starting next Friday, WITS will offer one poem written by a WITS student each day. Here are some ways you can participate:

* Receive the WITS poem every morning in your email.
* Bookmark this page and return for daily inspiration.
* Request free bookmarks for your workplace.
* Tune in to Houston’s KPFT 90.1 FM in the afternoons to hear a WITS student poem.
* Add the WITS blog to your RSS feed reader.
* Leave comments on your favorite poems for the author to enjoy.
* Get the Poem a Day widget. Choose the look you like, and add it to your blog, website, or Facebook/MySpace page. It takes less than a minute to install.
* Write a poem a day.
* Find poetry events in your own neighborhood.

National Poetry Month is Just Around the Bend

Posted March 18, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Soon schools, libraries, and community centers around the country will display the official 2011 National Poetry Month poster unveiled by the Academy of American Poets last January. You can download a  full-size pdf of the poster by clicking here or request a free copy to be sent to you while supplies last.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) celebrates National Poetry Month locally through bookmarks, public readings, and our email campaign, A Poem A Day. Through this project, WITS will email a child’s poem each weekday during the month of April. If you subscribe to our blog, A Poem A Day,  you know how inspirational it is to open your email or RSS feed each morning and be surprised by the words of children as young as 5 years. All poems featured in A Poem A Day are written by students in grades K-12 who have participated in the WITS program. If you have a friend who appreciates the written word as much as you do, suggest they subscribe to our blog or sign up for a poem in April by clicking this link.

Be on the lookout in the coming days for ways you can share poetry with children all month long.  National Poetry Month rocks!