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Pongo Teen Writing Program

Juvenile Offenders Put It Out There with Poetry
By Claudia Rowe, Seattle PI Reporter
April 24, 2008

When Richard Gold begins working with teens at King County’s juvenile detention center — youths held for robbery or car theft or assault — he often asks them to write down a question anonymously. Any issue that scratches at them and which they cannot understand.

Almost always, he gets some version of the query: “Why does life have so much pain?”

Gold’s poetry classes begin there, with the detention hall kids writing about neighborhoods that feel like wild jungles, or parents who don’t want them or the experience of turning 18 and being transferred from juvie to jail.

Read the rest along with several poems written by Pongo Participants on Seattle PI.com.

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