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Poet Laureate

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Headshot of Aris Kian Brown Houston Poet Laureate 2023
Aris Kian Brown
Houston Poet Laureate 2023 - 2025
Aris Kian Brown is a Houston enthusiast and student of abolitionists, who engages with the socio-mythological landscape of our metropolitan city in her poems. Her work is published with Button Poetry, West Branch, Obsidian Lit, The West Review and elsewhere.

She is a 2019 Pushcart nominee and the 2022 recipient of the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize in Creative Writing for Students with Service to the Houston Literary Community. She ranks #2 in the 2023 Womxn of the World Poetry Slam. As an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow, she received her MFA from the University of Houston, and currently serves as the Narrative Change & Media Manager at Houston in Action.

Visit Aris Kian Brown's website  
Past Poet Laureates


Outspoken Bean

The New Jersey born, San Antonio raised, H-Town based military brat was introduced to the arts and world cultures at a very young age and has not let go of it. "An energetic pioneer for poetry, in all its different sizes and shapes, Bean is dedicated to making sure that poets get heard," Emily Hinds of Arts and Culture Magazine wrote of Bean. Bean uses poetry to engage different mediums and institutions to create new and engaging art, such as being the first poet to perform on Houston Ballet's main stage with their production "Play."   Space City Story Tape  




Leslie is a native Houstonian and a multi-genre writer whose third collection of poems, Who Speaks for Us Here, is scheduled for spring 2020 publication with Skull + Wind Press. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Anomaly, The Missouri Review, The Collagist, [PANK], Iowa Review, Verse Daily, and the anthology Xicanx: 21 Mexican American Writers of the 21st Century edited by ire’ne lara silva (University of Arizona, 2022), among others. She is a graduate of The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and earned a bachelor's at Rice University. She teaches poetry workshops at Rice University, one focused on social justice poetics.



Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton

Deborah is an internationally-known writer, librettist, educator, activist, performer, and Poet Laureate Emeritus of Houston, Texas. Formerly ranked the #2 Best Female Performance Poet in the World, Her recent poetry collection, Newsworthy, garnered her a Pushcart nomination and was named a finalist for the 2019 Writer’s League of Texas Book Award and an honorable mention for the Summerlee Book Prize. A German translation, under the title "Berichtenswert," was released in Summer 2021 by Elif Verlag. In addition, a story book opera, entitled Lula the Mighty Griot will debut with Houston Grand Opera in early 2021 and her memoir, Black Chameleon, is forthcoming by Henry Holt & Co. D.E.E.P. is currently a resident artist at Rice University and the American Lyric Theater.   The Houston Emerge Project  



Mayor Turner & Robin Davidson

Robin is a poet, translator, and professor of English, and author of two poem chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo (Finishing Line Press) and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World (Calypso Editions), and the poetry collection, Luminous Other (Ashland Poetry Press). She is co-translator with Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska of The New Century: Poems by Ewa Lipska (Northwestern UP), and recipient of a Fulbright professorship at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and an NEA translation fellowship. A resident of Houston for more than 50 years, she was named Houston’s second Poet Laureate by Mayor Annise Parker in 2015 and served through April 2017 under the leadership of Mayor Sylvester Turner.   Robin's Favorite Poems  



Gwendolyn Zepeda

In April 2013, Mayor Annise D. Parker and Houston Public Library (HPL) Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson announced that award-winning author and poet Gwendolyn Zepeda was selected as Houston’s first Poet Laureate. Zepeda will serve a two-year term, April 2013 through April 2015. As Houston’s Poet Laureate, Zepeda represents the city by creating excitement about poetry through outreach, programs, teaching and written work. Zepeda is committed to developing a Community Outreach project for Houston’s many diverse neighborhoods, as well as to local businesses. She has already held several poetry workshops and participated in HPL literary events.

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Subjects: Books & Readers, Download & Stream, Leisure & Do-It-Yourself, Literature
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