Poetry Groups for Teens

Archived Responses: 

Feb 2007

My 17 yo daughter is not motivated in school and doesn't do well but she loves poetry: reading and writing it. And she is good. I would love for her to be able to get together with other teens that write poetry. Ideas? Maria

The Berkeley-Richmond Jewish Community Center on Walnut Street in Berkeley has offered a one-week girls' teen poetry group called ''Miriam's Daughters'' for the past several summers. It's led by published poet Josepha Raz who is a wonderful teacher. My daughter took the class two summers in a row and loved it. The group was very diverse. Not sure if it's on the calendar for this summer. Stacey

Two of my three daughters and numerous of their friends have worked with Youth Speaks (youthspeaks.org) a teen poetry group based in SF who does workshops and performances in Berkeley and Oakland as well as San Francisco. It was an excellent experience for both of them. It is a student run organization, which means that sometimes it is amazingly disorganized, but the kids are invested, interested and learning. I can't tell you how much they learned about expressing themselves, working in groups, thinking about the world or how much their self confidence and self assurance increased. Check our their website. RIght now is their annual slam poetry competition. Starts Tuesday Feb. 13 in Oakland, with 15 performances scheduled around the bay over the next month. Carolyn