On September 24th, join the Pongo Poetry Project as we commemorate our 25th Anniversary featuring renowned poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye!



The Pongo Poetry Project was founded on the idea that creative expression provides a vessel for healing from the most devastating of traumas. This summer will mark our 25th anniversary of using the power of poetry to offer therapeutic relief to individuals in crisis. On September 24th, help us commemorate this momentous occasion by attending our exciting virtual celebration and fundraiser, featuring the renowned poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye.

Prior to our celebration Pongo will offer a 30-minute virtual reception with our guest of honor, Naomi Shihab Nye. From 6:30-7pm PST, ticket purchasers will have the opportunity to hear directly from Naomi about her writing and offer questions about her work. All ticket proceeds will contribute to the establishment of the Richard Gold Visionary Fund, honoring our recently retired founder and supporting Pongo Poetry Project operations.

Our celebration will take place virtually from 7pm-8pm PST and will be free to the public. The event will feature a poetry reading from our guest of honor Naomi Shihab Nye, stories of impact from across our history, and commemorate our recently retired founder, Richard Gold.

***Youtube links for both the Virtual Q&A and the 25th Anniversary Celebration will be shared with registered guests one week prior to the event.*** For more information about the event, please contact Nebeu Shimeles by email at developmentmanager@pongoteenwriting.org .




Pongo is incredibly grateful to the Virginia Mason Health System for its sponsorship of our 25th Anniversary

Campaign planning and production for our 25th Anniversary Celebration was supported by Synchronicity Events .

Pongo is also thankful to The Poetry Foundation for its support of our 25th Anniversary.


Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” She has spent 40 years traveling the country and the world leading writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity. Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. She currently serves as the Young People's Poet Laureate, and in that role works to bring poetry to children and families in geographically underserved, or rural communities through readings underwritten by the Poetry Foundation. Read more about Naomi here .


The Pongo Poetry Project is a 25-year old non-profit that uses personal poetry as a means for facilitating healing among those coping with devastating traumas, such as abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. Our mission is to help youth and adults to write heartfelt poetry as a healing and empowering response to trauma, in a process that particularly supports underserved communities.