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Houston slam poets pen 'Rona Poem'

Norah Rami, Madison Petaway, Calvin King and Joyane Eriom wrote the poem about life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HOUSTON — When you hear the word "COVID," it’s typically immediately followed by words like “vaccine,” “testing” and “dying.”

We wanted to hear about living during the pandemic in a unique way, as told by teenage slam poets.

Norah Rami, Madison Petaway, Calvin King and Joyane Eriom wrote the “Rona Poem.” The Houston-area teens are from the Meta-Four Houston 2019 poetry slam team. Meta-Four is a team of youth poets who represent Houston on the world poetry stage.

Petaway is the current youth poet laureate, meaning she is the youth poetic ambassador for the city of Houston for 2019-2020, which is a very prestigious award, according to Emanuelee “outspoken” Bean, her writing coach.

In May, KHOU 11 asked Bean’s Meta-Four to write whatever came to mind about living during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is what they came up with.

Bean said every year about 100 teens compete for six slots to be on the Meta-Four. The team is trained by Bean and Loyce Gayo, from Writers in the Schools.

WITS is a Houston-based organization that works with schools to teach students writing. Click here to read more about them.

If you want to find out more about Writers in the Schools, reach out to outspoken@witshouston.org or pgarcia@witshouston.org.

Meet the team members in the video below.