A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
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.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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)."
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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!).
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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."
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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. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Power poetry.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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