Creative young writers Calvin King, Norah Rami, Durmerrick Ross, Katrina Machetta, and Houston 2020 Youth Poet Laureate Madison Petaway will perform their own poetry in this live performance hosted by Outspoken Bean. Their poems will be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom, the lessons of the Holocaust and the current racial justice movement in the US.
About the Poets
Madison Petaway is a junior at Westbury High School and serves as Houston’s current Youth Poet Laureate. Her work grapples with the complexities surrounding mental illness and education, while celebrating and advocating for youth empowerment. She is a member of the 2019 Meta-Four Houston Youth Poetry Slam Team. Madison's writing and performances have been published in The New York Times, Houston Public Media and KHOU-11.
Calvin King is a performance poet born and raised in Houston, Texas. He is a member of the 2019 Meta- Four Houston Youth Poetry Slam Team and has performed on local and national stages. Calvin is a member of the inaugural Emerging Writers Fellowship program hosted by Writers in the Schools and currently teaches creative writing workshops for youth in Texas.
Katrina Machetta is a student journalist and an avid poet who aims to evoke a deeper, multidimensional understanding of the power of words. She serves as president of the Creative Writing Club on campus, reporter for Youth Journalism International, editor of the Legacy Press newspaper, correspondent for Habitat for Humanity, and board member of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Teen Council. She strives to inspire through accurate reporting and thought-provoking discussion. She goes by the words of education rights activist Malala Yousafzai, “I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so those without a voice can be heard.”
Norah Rami is a poet, performer, and student at Clements High School. With a bold performance style, Norah examines the intersection of self, culture, and womanhood through slam poetry. She is a member of her school band, debate team, the founder of Greater Houston Area CoderGals. She has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Norah is a member of the Meta-Four Houston Youth Poetry Slam Team, the Bayouth Artist Collective, and her work has been featured on local and national stages.
Durmerrick Ross is a performance poet from Fort Worth, Texas. Durmerrick’s work centers around racial injustice, the Black experience in America, queer identity, and the Black faith tradition. Durmerrick is a 2-time National HBCU Poetry Slam champion, 2015 Brave New Voices finalist, and author of Always Never Dead: 25 Poems for My Son. Durmerrick is a member of the inaugural Emerging Writers Fellowship program hosted by Writers in the Schools. He currently attends Texas Southern University.