Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton is a writer, director, performer, critic and the first Black Poet Laureate of Houston, TX. She is the author of the 2019 poetry collection Newsworthy, which was a finalist for the The Writer’s League of Texas Book Award and Honorable Mention in the Summerlee Book Prize. Her poems have garnered her a Pushcart nomination and been translated into multiple languages. She has been a contributing writer for Glamour, Texas Monthly, Muzzle, and ESPN’s The Undefeated. Her work ranges from writing stage plays and librettos for operas such as Marian’s Song to storytelling through film. She currently resides in Houston, TX. Her debut memoir is Black Chameleon: Memory, Womanhood, and Myth.
Book by Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton
Black Chameleon: Memory, Womanhood, and Myth
Growing up as a Black girl in America, Deborah Mouton felt alienated from the stories she learned in class. She yearned for stories she felt connected to—true ones of course—but also fables and mythologies that could help explain both the world and her place in it. What she encountered was almost always written by white writers who prospered in a time when human beings were treated as chattel, such as the Greek and Roman myths, which felt as dusty and foreign as ancient ruins. When she sought myths written by Black authors, they were rooted too far in the past, a continent away.
Mouton’s memoir "Black Chameleon" is a song of praise and an elegy for Black womanhood. With a poet’s gift for lyricism and poignancy, Mouton reflects on her childhood as the daughter of a preacher and a harsh but loving mother, living in the world as a Black woman whose love is all too often coupled with danger, and finally learning to be a mother to another Black girl in America. Of the moment yet timeless, playful but incendiary, Mouton has staked out new territory in the memoir form.