Houston’s 2017-2018 Youth Poet Laureate, Rukmini Kalamangalam, is a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School.
For the third year in a row, Houston’s Youth Poet Laureate is an HISD student, and this year, the honor goes to Carnegie Vanguard High School senior Rukmini Kalamangalam.
Kalamangalam has big plans for the coming year. As part of the job, she is a cultural arts advisor on Mayor Turner’s Youth Council.
“I would like to establish a space where young poets and other artists can collaborate and share their experiences,” she said. “I would also like to start a column in a local publication where students can publish their favorite poems, and I would like to implement poetry readings in public places where people gather.”
Carnegie Principal Ramon Moss is especially proud of Kalamangalam. Continue reading
Fareena Arefeen, a junior at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts, has been named Houston’s second Youth Poet Laureate, succeeding Andrew White, who graduated from HSPVA in June and is now attending New York University. The position was created by Writers in the Schools in partnership with the Houston Public Library, City of Houston, and Office of the Mayor.
Arefeen was one of 40 Houston-area students to apply. Candidates submitted five poems to a committee of what WITS Executive Director Robin Reagler called “page poets and stage poets.” The committee narrowed it down to five students, and the finalists were interviewed by a smaller group of published poets. The one-year term includes a book deal, a scholarship, and being mentored by Houston’s Poet Laureate, Robin Davidson.