City of Houston announces 5th Poet Laureate


HOUSTON (CW39) In honor of National Poetry Month, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs are pleased to announce Houston’s fifth Poet Laureate.

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Outspoken Bean is known as a performance poet, writer, compassionate mentor and electric entertainer. Bean was the 2017 Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Artist in Resident, received a 2016 Andy Warhol Foundation’s The Idea Fund grant, and named VICE Media’s “Poet of the People 2018.”

Outspoken Bean’s two-year term begins April 2021 and runs through April 2023. As Poet Laureate, he will work closely with the Houston Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs to implement his Community Outreach Project, “Space City Mixtape,” an album of 20-track spoken word and creative audio experiences of Houston and by Houstonians. He will also conduct eight workshops in Houston Public Libraries, and create videos and poems to share on social media.

Outspoken Bean was selected through a competitive Poet Laureate application and interview process by a panel of literary arts experts as part of the Houston Poet Laureate Committee. The 2021-2023 Houston Poet Laureate Committee, a diverse group of poets, scholars, literary experts, and community representatives contributed to the selection process.

“This is an incredible honor. My excitement is over the moon,” said Outspoken Bean. “My intentions are to bring light, creativity, and to reach as many people through poetry and storytelling as possible through my tenure as Poet Laureate.”

The Houston Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs will host a special virtual program Friday, April 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to meet and hear from Outspoken Bean. The virtual event is free and open to the public on Facebook Live. Registration is not required.

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