Who We Are


Identity Statement

Pongo is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that uses personal poetry writing to heal youth who have experienced trauma (and other difficult and complicated experiences). Its competitive advantage lies in the fact that it features an effective, safe, fast, and replicable methodology . In addition, Pongo’s artistic focus is culturally appropriate for many, including marginalized communities. Also, Pongo is a community-based intervention that doesn’t require a licensed therapist for successful outcomes. This makes Pongo accessible and equitable – able to provide healing for those furthest from treatment. Pongo’s approach offers its authors a safe, gratifying way to express feelings about some of the worst experiences imaginable (including incest, rape, beatings, abandonment, and being witness to violent death) which leads to relief, openness, agency, and a sense of hope.

Richard Gold started writing with marginalized youth in San Francisco in the late 1970s. He started his first Pongo writing group at Orion Center in 1992.

Programs and Services

1.    Model Projects that exemplify the best of the work, generate allies, create poetry, and encourage others to replicate Pongo

2.    Trainings that teach people nationally to use Pongo’s methodology

3.    Web Site that offers writing opportunities to anyone, teaches the methodology, shares poetry, and communicates about the Pongo experience

4.    Research Partnerships that provides data in support of Pongo’s effectiveness

5.    Poetry Publications that support Pongo writers and share their voices

6.    Other Outreach based on a Communication Plan that considers the range of Pongo audiences, including youth and communities of color.