Ali

Posted April 6, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: Lotus Carroll

 

Do you know that

there are two layers

of love and joy

inside and outside?

Look deeper, because

I understand

the color of the sun;

and there is nothing more I could ask for

than a life like

the color of my eyes.

And the great teachers

I have, with my mother

and father, they

complete my day.

As I see myself

in the mirror, I see

the beauty in me

every day.

 

By Ali-Raza, 2nd grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Jaquelyn Simmons, a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “Super Pop Happy Song” by Five Easy Pieces. Produced by Susan Phillips. Faculty is Alex DeWalt, Assistant Principal.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: September 11, 2014

Here and Now I Love You

Posted April 3, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: girl/afraid

 

Here and now I love you. You make

the moon blue. You make

my every wish come true. People

 

always want the sun to walk

slower when you are here

and the night to go by quickly

so they can see you faster.

 

You love me so dearly.

You’re scared when you leave me.

But you are far away,

but I see you ride fearfully

on that only cloud. But you

are the one, the one & only mom.

 

By Kyra, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Preston Parker, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “Falling Away” from freestockmusic.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

Yo tengo un bello sueño

Posted April 2, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: Bryce Bradford

 

Yo tengo un bello sueño
Sueño que estoy en una nave espacial y que viajo afuera en una galaxia.
Sueño que no exista más la violencia y que exista la paz en el alma.
¿Que sueñas?
Sueño con la noche y el corazón abierto al mundo.
Mi alma esta flotando.
Mi alma que me llama siempre veo.
Quisiera dormir para solo soñar con mi familia y mis antepasados.

I Have a Beautiful Dream

I have a beautiful dream
I am dreaming that I am in a rocketship and I am traveling out to another galaxy.
I am dreaming that there is no more violence and that there is only peace in the spirit.
What are you dreaming?
I am dreaming in the night, and the heart is open to the world.
My soul is floating.
I see my soul that calls me always.
I would like to just dream with my family and my ancestors.

By Joaquin, 2nd grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Roberto Blas, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “Spring to Life” from freestockmusic.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

Happy National Poetry Month!

Posted April 1, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Happy National Poetry Month! Today is the start of a Poem a Day, a month-long celebration of poetry by WITS students. Each weekday we will share a poem by one of our talented students here on the blog. You can also check out the poems via the WITS facebook, instagram, or twitter, and listen to the poems read by Johnston Middle School students, on the radio station KPFT 90.1, at 4:30 pm. Make sure you subscribe to the WITS blog today to receive the poem of the day in your inbox.


Ode to the Library

I open the door,
It is
silent.

I walk to the
shelf.

Thump, Thump.
My feet echo.

I find my book. Thump, Thump.
I walk to a table.
I find a warm corner.
Sunlight comes over me,
like a yellow bubble.
In I go!

Adventuring with Percy and Annabeth.
Back to shelf.
Found another one. In Puppy
Place with Lizzie and Charles
All done! Back to shelf.

Here we are, another one.
Back to table.
Thump, Thump.
Gone to the rodeo with Kylie Jean.

Back again. Glance at clock.
It’s almost 5! Please just one book more!

Race to shelf. One last time.
Thumpata, Thumpata, Thump! Screeching halt.
Scan the shelf. Grab the book. Race to table.
Open book. Time flies.
Chapter 5.

Mom comes in. Time to go!
Check out book. Dragging feet.

In the car. Buckle up. Watch sadly
out the window as the library flies out
of sight.

By Morgan, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Eliana Collins, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “Walk in the Night” from freestockmusic.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

April is National Poetry Month!

Posted March 31, 2014 & filed under Notebook.

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Tomorrow is the start of A Poem a Day, a month-long celebration of poetry by Houston children. Each weekday we will send out a poem by one of our talented students through email. You can also enjoy these poems here on our blog and on radio station KPFT weekdays at 4:28 PM.

Get in on the fun by writing to our weekly prompt featured Saturdays on the blog, and snap a picture of it! WITS will be re-gramming our favorite poems throughout the month @witshouston #wherewordsfly.

I Wonder

Posted February 14, 2014 & filed under Notebook.

Who knows when the rain is coming?
What in the world are you doing?
Where do birds go in winter?
And when are you coming back?
How much money does a flying car cost?
Does Mars have aliens?
How many aliens are in space?
Why does the rain cool?
Why am I not sitting with you
on this pretty Valentine’s Day?

by Omar, 2nd grade

Illustration by Patrick Moberg

Rattle Wants to Hear Your Voice

Posted September 5, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

“There’s not a bad poet in first grade. None of them are anything but fresh and original … they don’t know how to avoid being original.”
—Sharon Olds, from Rattle #17

Rattle published an issue in 1998 of children’s poems, which is now out of print.  This year the editors want to begin an annual tradition of publishing work by young authors.

Be part of the 2013 issue!  If you are 15 or younger, you may submit up to 5 poems for consideration. Please visit the Rattle website for all the details about this wonderful opportunity to become a published poet in a premier journal.

Good luck, writers!

Public Poetry Reading at The Carriage House

Posted September 4, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

13_publicpoetry_summerseries_septemberPublic Poetry is back again with a stellar line-up of poets.

Join us on Saturday, September 7th, at 2 PM for our Summer Series reading at the historic Clayton Library, The Carriage House, 5300 Caroline, 77004.

As always, a WITS student will kick off the event with an original poem.

You won’t want to miss the last sizzling reading of summer 2013.

See you there!

Free Slam Poetry Workshops for Teens

Posted August 22, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

Meta-FourIf you are between the ages of 13-19, come join us for Meta-Fourth Fridays, held Fridays from 7:00-9:00 PM at Hope Stone, 1210 West Clay, Suite 26, Houston, TX 77019. Bring a friend or come solo and meet some new friends.

These free workshops will teach you how to write and perform original poetry about issues that are important to you. Share your work in a supportive environment and grow as a writer.

Dates for Meta-Fourth Fridays, all free and open to teens 13-19:

September 27
October 25
November 22
December 20

Tell your friends!

Word Around Town Poetry Marathon

Posted July 30, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

WAT-Flyer-front2013From our friends at WAT:

“The Word Around Town (WAT) tour is an annual week-long poetry marathon held in Houston at different venues each night of the week.  The marathon goes from  Sunday, August 4th until Saturday, August 10th.  That is seven days, seven shows, and seven different venues!

The mission of the WAT tour is to introduce poets to different venues and to new audiences in the Houston area. Now in its 8th year, the tour features poets who range in styles from academic to slam and spoken word to experimental.  The venues showcased on the tour are just as diverse from the local coffee shop to community centers, bars, and non-profit institutions.”

For the complete list of poets and venues, please visit the WAT website.  WITS writers such as Outspoken Bean are among the veteran poets who will perform. See you out on the town!

Meta-Four Wins 2013 Texas Youth Poetry Slam

Posted July 28, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

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Breaking news!  Breaking news! Meta-Four, a spoken word program for teens at Writers in the Schools (WITS), WON the 2013 Texas Youth Poetry Slam.

This event was held at Studio 12 in The Commons at Texas A&M University, July 27-28th.  Youth from across Texas competed in the Haiku Slam, Individual Slam, and Team Slam.

The event was sponsored by Mic Check, the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, and the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M.

250474_589799164386658_2116090736_nWe thank everyone helping to create a platform for our youth to share their poetry and words of truth.

Congratulations to Team Meta-Four for an outstanding slam and to our WITS Meta-Four Coach Outspoken Bean!

Stay tuned for the next poetry slam. You don’t want to miss what these young people are telling you about their lives and the world.

Houston Poetry Slam: Youth Versus Adults!

Posted July 22, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

VIP v MetaCome out and support Meta-Four, a spoken-word program of WITS youth, as they engage in a battle of words with the Houston V.I.P. team.

Where: The Artery, 5401 Jackson, Houston, TX.

When: Thursday, July 25th. Doors open at 7:30 PM, and the POETRY SLAM begins at 8 PM.

Minimum donation of $7. Hosts are Robyn Adams and Lupe Mendez.

Summer Writing Contest: Enter Today!

Posted July 11, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

FlyerNeed a summer project? Here is an announcement from Creative Communication, which sponsors writing contests three times a year for K-12 students:

Taylor Swift entered our contest when she was in the 5th grade and her entry was selected as a national Top Ten winner.  If you are a student and have a poem or essay you wrote in class, or want to write a new one, you won’t have the opportunity to be published or win a prize if you don’t enter. The next essay contest deadline is July 16, 2013 and the next poetry contest deadline is August 15, 2013. You can go to www.poeticpower.com for contest rules and to enter online.”

Applause for the Meta-Four 2013 Team!

Posted June 6, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

m4 team after grand 513Houston, we have a team!

After competing at Space City Slam in a series of six poetry competitions, six young poets were chosen to represent WITS’s performance poetry team, Meta- Four, and the city of Houston at the international youth poetry slam festival and competition, Brave New Voices, in Chicago, August 7-11.

The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee announced the winners, who rode in the grand prize winning car “Big Red” in the Houston Art Car Parade. Congratulations to Outspoken Bean, the Meta-Four coach, and to students Sarah Portugal, Terell Cloud, Jennifer Layer, Jordan Simpson, Tiffany Ike, and Daniel Ortiz! See you in Chicago!

Thanks to the support of United Airlines, who generously donated round trip tickets, Meta- Four will be flying all the way to Chicago free of charge! Also a special thanks to the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Travelers Insurance for their continuous support of Meta-Four and the Space City Grand Slam.

Public Poetry Reading

Posted May 31, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

13_publicpoetry_springseries_juneJoin us this Saturday, June 1st, at 2 PM to hear a fantastic line-up of poets at the Oak Forest Neighborhood Library, 1349 West 43rd Street, Houston, TX, 77018.

Participating poets include James Adams, Darla McBryde, Dustin Pickering, and Charlie Scott. A WITS student also will perform, so come out and support the arts at this Public Poetry event!

Public Poetry exists to bring the public and poetry community together and to create a buzz about poetry. Public Poetry was awarded the Best Reading Series in Houston by the Houston Press.

Poetry and Healing Workshop

Posted May 30, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

Poetry & Healing Flyer June 2013

Join us for Fady Joudah’s Poetry and Healing Workshop-Talk, Saturday, June 8th, 2-4 PM at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy, Houston, TX, 77006.

This event is free and open to the public.

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian American poet, translator and physician of internal medicine. Alight, (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) is his second book of poetry, after The Earth in the Attic which won the Yale Prize for Younger Poets.  He is also internationally acclaimed as a translator of the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, and most recently of Ghassan Zaqtan’s Like a Straw Bird it Follows Me, which is a finalist for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.  He has served in the field with Doctors Without Borders.

Poetry Around Town

Posted May 1, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

Houston is Poetry Town.  Every weekend there are events featuring poets young and old.  Don’t miss the fun!

Here are two free WITS-related poetry events on Saturday, May 4th:

13_publicpoetry_springseries_mayPublic Poetry, the award-winning monthly reading series, will be at Oak Forest Neighborhood Library at 1349 West 43rd Street, Houston, TX, 77018, at 2 PM.  Featured poets include WITS Associate Director Bao-Long Chu.

Pluto Wild-Card Slam will be at Heights Neighborhood Library, 1302 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX 77008, from 10 AM-12 PM. Youth ages 13-19 are encouraged to participate.  A poetry workshop will kick off the morning, followed by a slam competition.

Land of the Lone Star

Posted April 30, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Leaving land of lone star

of heat, humidity, and horses

on a huge white bird

over open ocean

in night’s ebony embrace

Out of the ominous

an amazing archipelago

the pearl of perfection

the majesty of mountains

home

By Samuel, 7th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by  Carson Brown, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

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. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Ish Poem

Posted April 29, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

In the dark-ish night, deep in the

city, the sunset made blue-ish, orange reflections

in the calm river. The boats were heading

to the nearby dock. The tree in the

field with the ruffled shadow became clear.

The smoke from the burning bridge fell to peace.

By Michelle, 5th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Brianna Pierre, a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

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. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Hardly Myself

Posted April 25, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

Today again I am hardly myself.

Grass sprouts from my hair like antennae.

Flowers become my eye lashes

as bark covers my soul.

My teeth are like acorns

crunching on my concrete tongue.

Rocks and stones become

my hardcore bones.

Thorns grow like fingernails

on my berry-scented skin.

Roses are my ears,

only for the bees.

My toes are the squishy

clay straight from the ground.

The plaque on my teeth is

like rust from metal.

My lungs beat like the

countdown on a clock.

Why, why am I hardly myself?

By J. B., 4th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Elizabeth Tyska, an 8th grade at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

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. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.