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Auriana Lee, 2022 - 2023 Houston Youth Poet Laureate

Houston Youth Poet Laureate Program

The Houston Youth Poet Laureate program is an initiative of Writers in the Schools, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Houston Public Library. The program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement through poetry and performance.  Past Youth Poet Laureates have received publications, performance bookings, and the opportunity to be regional ambassadors for the National Youth Poet Laureate program.

Emerging Writers Fellowship

The WITS Emerging Writers Fellowship is a 10-month apprenticeship program designed for creative writers and performers ages 19-24. Emerging Writers will receive comprehensive training in workshop facilitation for school and community spaces. The cohort will also be joining a network of local artists who are given opportunities to refine and advance their artistry.

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Space City Slam Series

The Space City Slam Series is a free youth poetry competition that invites performers ages 13-19 to compete for a spot on the renowned Meta-Four Houston youth poetry slam team. The series gives young Houston poets, rappers, emcees, and spoken word artists the opportunity to perform and build community with other youth artists.

Meta-Four Houston

Meta-Four Houston is the face of the youth poetry slam scene, representing Houston to the world at the international Brave New Voices festival. Each year hundreds of teens compete at the Space City Slam Series, vying for a spot on the Meta-Four team. Meta-Four Houston takes the voices of youth to powerful new heights through one-on-one mentorship as well as local and national performance opportunities.

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Bayouth Collective

The Bayouth Collective is a community of young artists (13-19 years old), dedicated to fostering youth-led spaces and initiatives. In this paid program, members of the collective receive artistic and leadership development that prepare them to be leaders in their communities.

Bayouth Collective members will receive close mentorship from Writers in the Schools staff, work with prominent artists from the Houston community, and lead creative writing workshops, monthly

Second Verse Open Mic Series

Second Verse is a monthly open mic series for youth ages 13-19. On the second Saturday of each month, young poets, spoken word artists, singers and emcees perform their original work at Mercantile Montrose. Each open mic includes a prominent featured poet or performer.

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Youth Poetry Sessions at Discovery Green

WITS offers free youth writing workshops on the first Friday of each month at Discovery Green park. Poets ages 13-19 receive one-on-one mentorship from WITS writers, generate new work, and hone their performance skills. Sessions are held on first Fridays from 6:30-8:00pm in the park or inside the Houston Public Express Library at Discovery Green. No registration is required, and walk-ins are welcome.

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