Poetry is about personal experience, perception
and reflection as much as it is about writing. Young people
who explore poetry expand the depth and breadth of what they take not
of and how they process experience—how they reflect of the world
Poetry enhances reading, verbal and writing
skills. These skills extend far beyond the realm
of poetry itself into other forms of reading, writing and expression.
Poetry builds empathic bridges.
Reading poetry allows students to hear other voices, some like their own
and others quite different. Likewise, writing poetry allows young
people to try on other voices and lives.
Poetry fosters dialogue and builds community.
Poetry gives voice to the hopes, fears, questions, concerns and opinions
of young people. It is an avenue for children and teens to share
their thoughts and feelings with peers, parents, teachers, and their community.
Students work together in a cooperative workshop venture, building a sense
Poetry is a level playing field.
Students who readily do well in school and those for whom school is a
challenge can equally succeed in exploring poetry. Young people
for whom English is not their first language often find poetry a
comfortable genre to navigate.
Poetry is a safe haven.
We all need to escape from time to time, especially young people facing
the challenges of discovering their way and themselves. Poetry is
a socially responsible venue for self-expression and a healthy alternative
to risky escape behavior like drugs and alcohol.
Poetry is powerful and playful.
It can be a playground and a platform for creativity, emotion and intellect.
Fully Human! Fully Alive!