Pongo 2.0

Pongo is proud to announce that registration for Saturday, May 22nd's Pongo 2.0 is now open! Click this link to register on our EventBrite page.


May 22nd from 10am-3pm (PST)

Training participants will learn and practice Pongo 2.0 techniques which facilitate powerful personal poetry that inspires healing, growth, and community! In this immersive training, attendees will hone their skills as a Poetry Mentor, learn how to remove barriers to self-expression, and encourage honesty from survivors of difficult life experiences. During the day's activities, registrants will also be writing their own poetry and will experience the relief and joy that comes with the Pongo Method. 

Haven't attended Pongo 1.0, but still interested in attending this training? Don't worry, upon completing registration and payment for 2.0, Shaun will email you a recording of a recent Pongo 1.0 you can watch in preparation. Also, unlike Math skills which require a sequenced progression, Pongo skills can be learned in a nonlinear path. So join us! We'll help catch you up.


  • Taking Dictation
  • Integrating Spoken Word
  • Creating & Leading Group Poem Exercises

TENTATIVE AGENDA: (in Pacific Time)

  •     10:00—10:50am    Mod 1: Poetry, Spoken Word; Trauma, & Racial Justice

  •     10:50—12:20pm    Mod 2: Taking Dictation; Our Role

  •     12:20—12:50pm    Lunch

  •     12:50—1:35pm     Mod 3: Integrating Spoken Word

  •     01:35—2:20pm     Mod 4: Create & Lead Group Poems

  •     2:20-3:00pm         Mod 5: Resources, Q&A, Evaluation

COST*: $200

Includes* 2 free, one-hour-long consultations with a Pongo trainer to support you setting up your project.

ADD-ONS:(can be purchased on the Eventbrite Page )

Writing With At-Risk Youth ($33-shipping included)

Written by Pongo's Founder, Richard Gold , MA, Writing With At-Risk Youth (2014) is a time-tested, essential field-guide to starting your own poetry project.

Pongo 2.0 Materials Packet Print Out ($10-shipping included)

Participants not ordering the packet will either have to a.) print out the packet at their own cost or b.) have the electronic version of the packet digitally accessible while doing the training (not recommended for those with only one computer screen and/or those uncomfortable navigating multiple windows while in an online Zoom trainings).


To request a scholarship for this training, please email Barbara Green at executivedirector@pongoteenwriting.org Scholarships will be reserved for those intent on starting their own Pongo-inspired poetry project,


  • Shaun McMichael, MAT

    Washington State Certified Instructor of ELA & ELL, Shaun McMichael has been engaging youth in poetry writing through the Pongo Method since 2007! Shaun approaches his role as a Pongo trainer with respect for the seriousness of the work, balanced with the joy possible when writing poetry with young people. With over 10 years of experience working with youth survivors of difficult experiences, including running his own poetry projects, Shaun is excited to welcome you into this life-changing work.

  • Elnur Gajiev, PsyD, MA

    Dr. Elnur "El" Gajiev is a clinical psychologist, poet, and educator. Licensed in both New York and Hawaii, Dr. El specializes in bringing together empirically-based, creative therapies to foster greater connection, purpose, and growth for individuals, groups, and organizations. Dr. El serves on the faculty at the University of Hawai’i, as well as the Board of the Hawai’i Psychological Association, and is one of the key pioneers of spoken word poetry therapy—a novel modality incorporating the elements of spoken word and poetry therapy for a broad array of clinical and nonclinical contexts.


Pongo 2.0's training will be recorded for educational purposes. By registering, you will give Pongo approval to record this event, still and/or moving images from which may appear in printed materials or digital channels for archival, educational, community building, or promotional purposes.




Click this link to register!