POEM OF THE WEEK
In "Independent," a young man, age 17, writes about finding his mom when she's overdosing. Something changes in him, and he leaves home. He writes: "... after a while I just became independent / I didn't think about anybody else."
Girl with the Scars
In this poem you can write about the many feelings that are part of you, including the ones that feel like scars. [ WRITE ]
In this poem you can write about yourself. What are the colors, qualities, and dreams that represent you? [ WRITE ]
Letter After a Time
In this poem you can write to someone important to you who died. You can imagine the words you never had a chance to say. [ WRITE ]
Walk One Mile in My Shoes
In this poem you can write about what it feels like to be hurt by immature or cruel people, maybe because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. [ WRITE ]
Presentations and Trainings
in Your City!
Pongo is supporting writing projects around the country by offering PRESENTATIONS AND TRAININGS in our mission and methods. Recent and upcoming sites include Restorative Retelling conf., American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry conf., Alta Bates Summit Med. Ctr., Northern Michigan U., U. of Michigan, Washington DC, Tulane U., and Minneapolis. Write to us for info... INFO@PONGOTEENWRITING.ORG
Help for Teachers and Counselors!
Richard's book WRITING WITH AT-RISK YOUTH: THE PONGO TEEN WRITING METHOD is now available from Rowman & LIttlefield Education. It explains how youth are affected by trauma, how poetry helps, how to start a writing project, and how to teach distressed youth to write personal poetry, both individually and in groups. ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!
PONGO MAKES NEWS
IT’S JUST SO POWERFUL
This Emmy-winning story from KING5-TV represents the emotional power and joy in Pongo’s poetry program inside juvenile detention.
MORE Video: PBS NewsHour and U.S. Poet Laureate visit Pongo PBS NewsHour STORY of Pongo, healing, and unexpected happiness. With Jeffrey Brown and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.
AND MORE Video: Richard explains Pongo's work
A VIDEO about Pongo from Microsoft Alumni Foundation.Created when Richard was named a Microsoft Integral Fellow in recognition of this work.
AND MORE Video: "CityStream" reports on Pongo inside juvie
A STORY about Pongo from The Seattle Channel.
AND MORE Video: A discussion of Pongo poetry as therapy for youth
A Richard INTERVIEW with parenting expert Annie Fox.
AND MORE Video: Pongo video from Mayor's Arts Award
A Pongo STORY, including wonderful poets, that was prepared for Mayor's Arts Award presentation (video by Reel Grrls).
HI, TEENS! Hello, counselors and teachers! The Pongo Teen Writing Project is a volunteer, nonprofit program for teens who are on the streets, in jail, or in other ways leading difficult lives. We love to help young people express themselves through poetry, especially teens who have never written before. (And we want to share our teaching techniques with caring adults.) This site is dedicated to our authors!
Read Pongo's blog
Sharing stories of our work with teens
Pongo's blog is about the significance of expressing deeply felt pain in poetry - including the resilience that this writing represents, the healing that it allows, and the joy that it inspires. Some recent blog topics are Where I Come From, The Benefits of Writing Poetry, and Colors of Our Lives. [READ]
Pongo is place to express yourself
Teens, here you can WRITE FROM THE HEART about who you are as a person. You don’t have to be an experienced writer to create Pongo poetry. We appreciate the importance of what you have to say. Honesty is the quality we value most. Check out the Pongo writing activities, choose a topic, and give it a try. You might win Pongo's quarterly $100 Pongo Prize! For inspiration, check out all the serious poetry by other teens!
For Counselors and Teachers
How to use the Pongo website
Counselors and teachers, we want this web site to be a resource for you, as well as the teens. The many writing activities can be downloaded. The teen poems can be shared, as encouragement to new writers and as topics for meaningful discussion. The site gives an overview of Pongo’s methods and offers trainings. We'd like to hear from you and offer our support!