Teen Poetry Collections

Made Me Feel Like There's No World

These sample poems were written by teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle during the 2012-13 school year. The young people express themselves on a variety of themes, including abuse at home, the importance of family, confusion in life, witnessing violence, love, addiction, loneliness, and hope. The teens in detention are awaiting trial or serving sentences for a variety of offenses, from running away and truancy, to prostitution, shoplifting, drug-dealing, and violent crimes.

Pongo has worked inside detention since 1998. The team of Pongo adult mentors who worked with these youth included Eli Hastings (project leader), Elizabeth Koontz, Emily Holt, Erin McCormick, and Vanessa Hooper.

These teen poems are great. And they are just a few of the great poems created during this Pongo writing project! Please enjoy the honesty, depth, and complexity of this work. (And please note that details within the poems have been changed to protect the teens’ confidentiality and their families' privacy.)

Selected Poems from This Collection

Wounded Healer
Memories #3
The Nightmare That Never Ended
Dear Ex-Boyfriend
My Whole World Stopped
Dear Mom #2
My Spaceship
Just Lay It Out
White Walls & Collect Calls
Amazing Amanda
Immigration
Unwanted
Worry
My Life Story
If God Were Looking at My Life #2
Lying in My Bed at Night, I Think
144 Ways
Freedom
Missing My Family
Grizzly-LifeJacket-Tornado-Dandelion
If Meth Wasn't in My Life
Stepdad #2
Lonely
My Stupid Boyfriend
Oblivion
The White Walls 

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