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Arts & Culture

HSPVA Senior Is Houston’s First Youth Poet Laureate

His role as Youth Poet Laureate will include speaking engagements and leading writing workshops around the city.


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Picture of Andrew White
Andrew White, a creative writing senior at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, is Houston’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate.


This story has been updated from a previous version to include more information. 

For the past two and a half weeks, Andrew White has had a secret.

“On the phone call later, she was like, ‘Oh, and by the way, we’re going to ask you to keep it a secret until November 12th,” White said at the Writers in the Schools gala Thursday night, where the announcement was made. “And so it was so hard because I had school the next day and I wanted to go up to all my teachers say, ‘Hey, guess what?’ But I couldn’t.”

That’s because he’d just found out that he’d been named Houston’s first Youth Poet Laureate.

Forty-five teens applied for the position. Requirements included submitting five original poems, a resume, and a letter of intent.

White is a creative writing senior at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, an HISD magnet school, and has been writing for most of his life. His vision is to encourage more young people to explore their creative side.

“I’m thinking workshops, I’m thinking podcasts, television shows, maybe YouTube Videos,” he says. “Just something to maybe get something into their social mainstream and to get them to come out and start writing more poetry.”

The program is an initiative with the literary organization, Writers in the Schools.

One of the perks of the award: getting a book deal with Penmanship Books to publish his works.

Robin Davidson, who is the poet laureate of Houston, will be a mentor to White, Writers in the Schools’ Robin Reagler said.


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