Teen Poetry Collections

I Feel Like That Bird That's Fallen 

These sample poems were written by teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle during the 2013-14 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 Vanessa Hooper (project leader), Emily Holt (assistant project leader), Liz Koontz, Carol Thompson, and Mark Johnson.

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 

My Sister 
Me and My Board 
Lost Girl 
Longing For Another Life 
Princess Adia'Zalika 
Capitol Hill 
Peace and Love From a Natural Born Thug 
The Pain 
Me As a Hermit 
Finally Opening Doors 
A Gaining Loss 
Do You Really Know Me 
Not My Real Sandals 
Para Mi Papa y Para Mi Mama 
My Brother 
The Undefined 
Something Missing 
Pre-Summary of my Life 
Really Buttery Popcorn 
I'm Getting Out 
Physical Love         

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