Friday, December 13, 2013

Houston Public Library Hosts “SpeakOUT!”, A Free Spoken Word Poetry Event Tomorrow

Houston Public Library (HPL) invites the community to its 'SpeakOUT' event, focusing on the unique experiences within the LGBT community that can be expressed through spoken word poetry.

A reception will be followed by presentations from local performers and activists Tye West, Scott Chalupa, and Ranma Kumayama. The program will include audience participation. 

The event will take place tomorrow, December 14, 2013 from 12 noon -5 PM at Clayton Library, part of the Houston Public Library system.

It will be held in the Guest House, located at 5300 Caroline, Houston, Texas, 77004. This event is free and open to the public. Further information can be obtained by visiting or calling 832-393-1313.

This spoken word poetry event is part of an ongoing LGBT event series hosted by the Houston Public Library.

About the Performers

Ranma Kumayama
Ranma Kumayama, also known as Koomah, is an intersex-bodied multidisciplinary grassroots artist whose art covers an eclectic range from visual art, performance art, drag, burlesque & cabaret, genderbending sideshow acts, and film. Koomah’s work challenges audiences to ask questions, see from new perspectives, be vulnerable, and ponder social norms. Koomah has performed, showcased artwork, screened films, participated speaking on educational panels, and presented workshops on topics of intersex, transgender, gender, and sexuality nationwide.
Tye West
Tye West is a man of Trans experience. He is co-director for the non-profit Transcending Men Inc. and is a representative of Black Transman Inc., where he mentors and helps other transgender men in the community. He is Co-founder/Director of People Empowering People, as well as being a volunteer for HRC’s diversity and outreach committee and for MCC Resurrection. Tye has performed at MCCR’s Kwanza program and Gospel Ensemble, and the Transgender Unity Banquet. He will soon be appearing in the Vagina Monologues and the TRUTH Houston Project, an organization that seeks to give voice to the African American LGBT community. He’s participated in 3 panel discussions for Transgender 101, or the "T" in LGBTQ, and a presentation at MHMRA for Trans youth and family dynamics.

Scott Chalupa
Scott Chalupa is a queer poet working on his BA in creative writing at the University of Houston. His poetry has appeared in “Nexus,” “The Alitheia,” and “The Front Row” on 88.7 KUHF-FM. Scott is a featured writer in the 2013 Houston Public Poetry Series. He is a winner of the Howard Moss Prize for Poetry and an Honorable Mention for the Brian Lawrence Prize for Poetry. For the last year he has served as Co-Editor of “Glass Mountain,” the undergraduate literary journal at UH, which won the 2013 Program Director’s Prize for Content at AWP. So many years back it seems impossible, he helped establish the HATCH radio segment, now in its 15th year, on KPFT-FM “After Hours. “

About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library, located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. Serving more than 4 million customers per year, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials, and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7. 

For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at  or call 832-393-1313.

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