Local organization starts poetry workshops for students

Students getting a chance to express themselves through spoken word in an environment that allows them to be who they are without judgment.

A place where they can feel safe.
One high school participant explains, "It's amazing because I'm in high school and high school is possibly the most judgmental environment, like if you heard half the things I get called or told everyday it's insane and that's just for being me. Being here and not being judged for it, it's amazing because teenagers are cruel."

A safe place to express feelings through poetry. That's the goal behind the Fenix Youth Project's new poetry workshops.

"I feel like a lot of youth here have a lot to say and they have a lot to say and everything is warranted. I want to give them that platform and I want to empower them to use their voice and take ownership of the community, take ownership of their education, and take ownership of themselves," says Fenix Youth Project founder Amber Green.

It's a chance to give kids in Salisbury an outlet different than what's out there now.

Green says, "There are a lot of outlets for kids to express themselves if they're athletic or if they like drama or if they maybe want to skateboard or different things, but there aren't any activities for that kid who is just in between or who doesn't know where they fit in yet."

And for those that gave it a shot today, they were able to express what love is to them.

Taking their feelings to paper and then to voice, as one student reads out loud, "I learned from you that love is toxic. When it became toxic I ignored it, when you started to ditch me I was okay with it. I tried to compromise with the issue, my love for you was stubborn and you're love for me was selfish."

The expression Green was looking for.

"I wanted them to have the last word. What is love to them, what does it mean, and how do you want to receive it," explains Green.

Plus, creating that safe space many are after.

"Having a space where its people, including teenagers who are actually willing to listen and not judge it's amazing," says one student.

Green tells 47 ABC poetry workshops will happen every Tuesday and is free to any middle school and high schoolers. For more information about their new poetry program visit their website.

Categories: Local News, Maryland