THEY SAY-book jacket.jpeg

You're alone now.
surrounded by black.
Everything is gone.
Everything is gone.
Before you rejoice in despair, in the far off, you see a dot.
And as you come closer, you see a glow.
And even closer you realize you see an ember.

-- Untitled by Donald Val

This poem of hope comes from a collection of works that have emerged from improbable friendships among noted poets and children typically referred to as failing, at-risk kids.

Iconoclast poets come from five under-performing Houston schools and two lock-down juvenile justice facilities. These poets face challenging, often harsh, realities in their young lives -- girls who have suffered as victims of sex trafficking, boys whose formative education came from the streets.

Iconoclast gives voice to their lives and an "ember" of hope.

Iconoclast is committed to nurturing the lives of under-resourced students in Houston by cultivating  artistic, educational, and spiritual imagination within people and communities often caught in cycles of poverty, depression, and isolation. 

The first collection of poetry by Iconoclast students — They Say — has been published, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is hosting a book release celebration on Friday, March 4, at 7 p.m. The celebration will be in the Caroline Weiss Law Building Main Gallery.

The evening will feature 10 Iconoclast poets performing original works along with Houston Poet Laureate Robin Davidson.

Proceeds from the evening and book sales will go toward establishing The Iconoclast Scholarship Fund for academic and vocational support of participants in the program and to the Iconoclast program.