One of the questions I often receive is: “How do I start a juvenile detention poetry workshop in my city?”
Usually, I direct people to the Teen Poems Behind Bars blog where we have created a sidebar with resource links.
However, now there is a book, WRITING WITH AT RISK YOUTH: THE PONGO TEEN WRITING METHOD, which I would highly encourage you to purchase if you want to run a juvenile detention poetry workshop in your city.
When I began the poetry workshop in detention, I had the support of Richard Gold and the Pongo Writing Project. They donated a collection of poetry books written by teens at King County Juvenile Detention and I met often with one of their mentors, Ann Teplick.
Ann’s work with the teens is featured in the book, WRITING WITH AT RISK YOUTH: THE PONGO TEEN WRITING METHOD, as well as answers to questions such as: How do I structure the workshop? What exactly is this poetry we are asking the teens to write, and How do I keep everyone safe in the workshop when I am asking them to write from the heart about personal experiences.
If you are at all considering jumping into this fabulous work, I highly recommend you get this book to help you on the journey!