Shaun came aboard the team in March 2020. As Program Manager, Shaun oversees Pongo Projects at CSTC and other sites, as well as communication and outreach via festivals, Pongo's website, and other platforms. Shaun will also be involved in the training and cultivation of volunteer Poetry Mentors. Considering that Shaun started as a volunteer Poetry Mentor with Pongo in 2007, this is a responsibility Shaun is especially passionate about.

After volunteering with Pongo at Treehouse (2007-08) and CSTC (2008-2010), Shaun kept the Pongo Method close to his heart through 10 years of teaching writing, reading, and English to marginalized populations throughout the Puget Sound Region. Pongo's approach to removing barriers to writing and promoting authentic expression inspired and informed Shaun's work with vulnerable, trauma-affected, and historically-ignored people, which has included:

  • Leading Zine Project Seattle, where he helped homeless youth write poetry and make art.
  • Serving as an Instructional Assistant in public school classrooms with students having emotional, behavioral issues.
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to adult immigrants and refugees for Seattle Goodwill Industries.
  • Teaching English and World History to immigrants and refugee high school students at Federal Way Public High School (go Eagles!)

Shaun feels grateful and excited for the opportunity to rejoin Pongo and work alongside his heroes like Ann Teplick, Richard Gold, and the youth we write with.

Shaun commits to continue serious engagement in cultural competency workshops, in-depth readings from diverse authors from around the world, and maintaining a disposition of humility with his students and co-workers. He endeavors to operate as an agent of equity and justice, helping those in painful places write heartfelt poetry.

A Pongoite at heart, Shaun writes poetry too, along with fiction. He reviews film and books for the website PopMatters . Shaun's guiding ambition in life is to make his wife, and his young son proud of him.



(Shaun in the middle of Pongo all-stars, 2010)