PBS NewsHour and U.S. Poet Laureate
Natasha Trethewey Visit Pongo to Report
on Poetry and Healing

The story is titled "For Troubled Teens, Making and Sharing Poetry May Be Unexpected Source of Happiness." Check out the video here...

PBS NewsHour Reports on Pongo's work inside juvie

On Monday, March 17, 2014, PBS NewsHour broadcast an 8-minute national story about Pongo's work inside King County juvenile detention in Seattle. The report was created by PBS Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. The story featured youth, Pongo volunteers, a detention supervisor, and a juvenile court judge.The story also included a reading and interviews with homeless youth at a Pongo-inspired writing project at New Horizons Ministries. Here is the PBS press release:

Jeffrey Brown and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey profile
 the Pongo Teen Writing Project in Seattle

Monday, March 17, 2014

Helping homeless and incarcerated teens overcome trauma in their lives is the goal of The Pongo Teen Writing Project and is the subject of the next installment in “Where Poetry Lives,” PBS NEWSHOUR’s series exploring societal issues through the lens of poetry.

In a report airing on Monday, March 17, 2014, Jeffrey Brown and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey visit the King County Juvenile Detention Center near Seattle, Washington, to meet participants in the Pongo Project.  The program is the brainchild of Richard Gold, a writer and former Microsoft employee who has spent much of his life volunteering to help children write from the heart about difficult experiences.

For Natasha Trethewey, the visit held special meaning.  “My brother started writing poems in prison.  He told me it was about making something out of the bad situation he was in.  To make a poem out of that situation felt like, the act of creation, a triumph over the experience.”  This triumph over difficult experiences is precisely what Pongo hopes to accomplish. “I think what I do is the essence of poetry,” explained Gold.  “What so many of us struggle with is the unarticulated emotion in our lives.  And when poetry serves that, it’s doing something essential for the person and for society.”

We hope you'll have a chance to check out this report on the web, and we hope you'll forward the link to friends and colleagues!