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Power Poetry

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Online community empowers teen poets; use privacy settings.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn storytelling skills while sharing their own experiences, and gain insight into others' lives by reading and analyzing their poems. Young people from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds have shared writing on Power Poetry, all of which get equal respect from the community. Kids will use their imaginations to figure out how best to tell their stories with words, sounds, and images. If they want to, they can experiment with poetic style and rhythm. As part of a supportive writing community, teens can learn to honor the voices of others as much as their own.

Positive messages

Power Poetry encourages young people of all backgrounds to share their stories and emphasizes individuality and the importance of developing your own voice. It's a very supportive community that can really empower kids who feel disenfranchised.

Violence

Power Poetry users are encouraged to translate their lives through poetry, so violence does appear. It's not glorified, but more matter-of-fact, as in these lines by a young writer: Got stabbed by a shank maybe struck by a wrench/Innocent bystander/Wrong place at the wrong time.

Sex

Search the tag "sex" and you'll find just a few poems with some light innuendo, but nothing too explicit. An example: "your curves sliding from left to right/2 parentheses on either side." Other poems contain sexual themes, like "The Love of a Hustler (Prostitute's Cry)."

Language

There is a warning on all student-submitted work stating "Some poems may contain explicit content." However, browsing the first five pages of poems yielded no profanity (but lots of overwrought teenage odes to love!).

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A handful of poems are devoted to drugs, the majority of which are anti-drug. Others are more neutral. From a young writer's poem entitled "Addict": "My cravings lead to nerve-wrecking/Shaking/the anger within me waking."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Power Poetry is an engaging multimedia site aimed at teens who want an outlet to express themselves with the written word. While kids are free to write about any subject they choose, site guidelines prevent hate speech and other inappropriate content. In order to join the site, teens must choose a username and submit an email address. On their profiles, teens have the option of sharing their first name and last initial, profile pic, and short bio. Teens can message each other within the site, but this feature can be disabled from account settings. In addition, teens can tag poems with location information.

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What's it about?

POWER POETRY is an online platform for teens to write, share, and discuss poems. The site hosts online slams, where kids submit poems on specific topics and are judged by their peers. The bulk of Power Poetry pages are a well-organized, open forum for kids to write poems on any subject, and the site offers novel ways for them to contribute, including video \"poemisodes\" and audio. Kids can even text a short poem from their phones! Young people who want guidance can gather inspiration from idea prompts, or contact a Power Poetry Mentor directly.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Power Poetry is a positive, diverse, energetic community that supports kids through the tough journey of adolescence (and life), encouraging them to use poetry as a tool for social change and personal growth. It's a well-rounded and supportive community, and kids should feel welcomed. Feedback from peers is almost always positive; the site also doesn't talk down to kids, letting them know that young voices need to be heard. 

Teens will love the hip design, encouraging, up-to-date slam topics, and should enjoy finding their poetic voice, using words as weapons for change. The breadth of topics that poets address on the site will appeal to a wide range of teen interests, and there's also some great poems for them to read. But the quality of the poetry isn't the point at Power Poetry; it's about the experience of writing and sharing in a safe environment.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can experience poetry by reading poems aloud at home or finding a poetry reading at a local bookstore or library.

  • What makes a poem powerful? How do kids feel after they've written a poem?

  • How do poems create change? Can kids think of any poets or writers whose work has been controversial or helped change the world?

Website details

Subjects:Language & Reading: reading, storytelling, text analysis, writing
Social Studies: cultural understanding
Arts: film, music, rhythm
Skills:Creativity: imagination, producing new content
Self-Direction: personal growth, self-reflection
Emotional Development: identifying emotions, labeling feelings, perspective taking
Communication: multiple forms of expression
Collaboration: respecting other viewpoints
Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, honoring the community, respect for others
Genre:Educational
Topics:High school
Pricing structure:Free

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