The youth slam poetry movement is growing in Houston. Writers in the Schools (WITS) is helping youth explore their truths through performance poetry and the renowned Meta-Four Houston program. Spoken word, slam competitions, and performance poetry bring people together to share stories and listen to our tomorrows. Performance poetry encourages creative self-expression and literacy among youth, while building a literary culture and platform for social change. By teaching youth to own their words, they learn to understand the potential power of their ideas. Performance poetry is a strong vehicle for education, deepening literacy, creativity, and communication skills, while preparing students to become civic and social leaders for the Houston community.

Author Biography

Emanuelee "Outspoken" Bean ranked 9th in the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2012. His one-man show "Converse" will go to Theatre Row in New York City in November 2013, as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival. Bean coaches the WITS youth poetry program, Meta-Four Houston. Recently he appeared at TEDxHouston. He has taught with WITS since 2010.

Kate Rybka Brennan is the Development Director for Writers in the Schools (WITS), where she writes grants, shares stories, and builds strategic relationships to help more children experience a creative education. Prior to joining WITS in 2009, Kate was instrumental in the New Century Campaign for Neighborhood Centers. A Twin Cities native, Kate received a B.A. from Mills College in Oakland, CA.