2016 Fundraiser: We depend on donations from our community to create a safe place for poetry online. This is the one time of year we ask, so thank you for considering a small donation to support our great work. Learn more about our story

Mentoring Program

First and foremost, Power Poetry is a safe, supportive, online community where poets across the country (and around the world) can share their poetry, converse with fellow poets, and receive feedback on their work.  Due to the sensitive nature of Power Poetry’s mission, it is imperative that mentors foster and protect the community.   

While Power Poetry is an educational environment, it is not an extension of the classroom. This means that mentors must avoid critiquing or “grading” poems the way teachers do. Most importantly, poets must be encouraged to keep writing. In many circumstances, writers are discouraged from writing early on and don't continue. Our ideal mentor instills in our writers the desire to keep writing and sharing their poetry.

Even though Power Poetry is not an extension of the classroom, mentors should not avoid educational comments in response to poems. On the contrary, mentors should try to share their knowledge of literature, literary technique and writing in general, and offer positive, precise feedback to help poets improve their writing. Power Poetry is about providing a platform where young people can freely express themselves through poetry.

Power Poetry is also about turning words into life- and world-changing action. The work you do as a mentor should be about fostering a kind of artistic collaboration where youth are inspired to take risks, become vulnerable, and ultimately empower themselves through mastery of language and literacy.  If you want to see some examples of this kind of mentoring in action—please contact us and we will provide you with the link and password to personally view the full-length feature version our documentary, To Be Heard, online.  In the meantime, please feel free to visit our other websites to discover what inspired the creation of Power poetry: www.tobeheard.org & www.powerwriters.org