Deborah Mouton


Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton an internationally-known Poet, Singer, Actress, Photographer, Wife, Mother, and the first Black, Poet Laureate for the City of Houston. Heralded as a "Literary Genius" by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, this California native was formerly ranked the #2 Best female Poet in the World. D.E.E.P. has established herself as a notable force in the Performance and Literary World.

She published her first collection of poetry at the tender age of 19. From there, she went onto compete at CUPSI as a member of the 2004 University of Michigan Slam Team while simultaneously touring with the WordWorks Poetry Troupe across the Midwest.

After falling in love with the national poetry scene, she moved to Houston and became a member of the 2007 Houston Poetry Slam Team. After this experience, she,and a few friends, set out to establish a new voice for the city of Houston forming the H-Town slam team (which now operates as the Houston VIP Slam Team). D.E.E.P. was a 3-time slam champ and 8 year Coach and Slammaster of Houston VIP. In 2011, she coached the team to the National Group Piece Finals where they were ranked 6th in the nation. In 2012, under her coaching, VIP moved onto be ranked 4th in the Southwest at the Southwest Shootout Regional Slam. By 2014, the team were semi-finalists at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland,CA. This year, the team returned to the Semi-final stage and were ranked 14 out of 72 teams in the world. Simultaneously, the youth team, Meta-four Houston which represented Houston at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Competition made their Semi-final stage under D.E.E.P.'s leadership.

She released her first full-length album in 2009 titled "The Unfinished Work of a Genius". It is a collection of original songs and poems that explore ideas around spirituality and personal growth. Her sophomore album, "Beautiful Rebellion" is available now. It explores more socially themed poems. She has been featured on BBC, NPR, Upworthy, Blavity, Tedx, Button Poetry, Write About Now, and the opening video of the 2017-2018 Houston Rockets Season. Her collaboration with the Houston Ballet celebrated Houston's resilience and provided hope for the City after Hurricane Harvey.

She has also shared stages with Nikki Giovanni, Talib Kweli, MC Lyte, Amiri Baraka, John Legend, Slick Rick, Slum Village, Karen Clark-Shield, Raheem Devaughn, Trae Tha Truth, Devin the Dude, Def Poet Sunni Patterson, Def Comedy Jam's Rodman, Regie Gibson, Buddy Wakefield, Danez Smith, Roxane Gay, and multiple local and national political figures.

On stage, she has been a 2015 Finalist for the Individual World Poetry Slam, a 2016 Finalist for the Texas Grand Slam, and has served as a Final Stage Sacrificial Poet for the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Off stage, she has had the honor of serving as a Juried Poet for the 2012 Houston Poetry Fest and an Honored guest in the 2017 Houston Poetry Fest. Her work can be found in Haymarket Book's Black Girl Magic Anthology (2018), Akashic Press' upcoming Houston Noir Collection (2019) and Blind Faith Book's I AM STRENGTH Anthology, and more. Her fiction and creative nonfiction work can be found in Crimereads (2019), Fjords Journal (2019), and the upcoming "Retelling fairy tales" collection by Alternating Current Press (2020) She served as Houston's third, and first Black, Poet Laureate by Mayor Sylvester Turner from 2017-2019.

As Poet Laureate, she worked to shift the cultural and literary landscape of the City of Houston. She developed workshop series, readings, and directed an visual and audio tour of the city of Houston through the work of 38 writers, including her own. She pushed literacy and the inclusion of performance poetry as a valid art form through local and international channels. Her work has been studied in England, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and across America.

Off stage, her passion for literacy and culture pulses through her community. In 2018, she took the reigns as Executive Director of VIP Arts Houston: an organization dedicated to developing, empowering, and amplifying marginalized voices. Through VIP, she launch the first quarterly summit for Writers of Color in Houston's history. Her love for organizing was sparked when she served as the Project Manager of Life is Living; a hip hop and sustainability festival housed in Houston's 3rd Ward. This work with the University of Houston connected her in a new way to Houston. Her love of education already proved effective in the classroom. This love for words and knowledge propelled her into a College Education position. Upon answering the call of her art more deeply, she took on the call of a Teaching Artist. She has traveled and taught at multiple schools, community centers, homeless shelters, prisons, churches, and more recently the TedX platform through multiple talks and performances. She continues to pour into her community and is always looking for new and better ways to make poetry and the art of expressing oneself accessible.

Her newest collection, Newsworthy, examines incidents with police brutality and the Black body and how the media chooses to report them. Her up and coming projects include an opera, Marian's Song, in collaboration with The Houston Grand Opera, and a regional tour as part of the Texas Commission on the Arts touring roster. She currently serves as the Senior Editor of Relationships for Raising Mothers Magazine.

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Houston Grand OperaMarian's Song4/30/2021 - 4/30/2021
Houston Grand OperaMarian's Song3/5/2020 - 3/6/2020

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