Dear Poets and Friends,

I’m starting an endeavor that is very close to my heart called Poets4Progress. It uses poetry as a form of activism, to educate and inspire the community in a number of different ways. However, the first step I think to creating a world where poetry is a driving force, is to start with the youth.

As some of you might know I currently coach a championship youth spoken word team at Triumph Charter High Schools. I have been asked to help organize a reading at the Cypress Park Library on 5/31 (Saturday) from 2-5. Instead of just having only youth involved I want to start a partnership/mentorships between adult poetic mentors and the youth poets in our communities. A poetic mentorship between adults and youth is one of the driving inspirations for my organization (in baby stages) Poets4Progress.

I’m looking for 10 adult poets to mentor 10 youth poets. All 20 will be featured at the 5/31 performance and then participate in a panel discussion.

You will work in collaboration with youth ages 14-18 in creating, editing, revising, work shopping a piece that you will read at the event. Each pair of poets will get 6 minutes all together, 3 minutes each. You can write a poem together and present it together or work completely separate through email or any other virtual medium. I know we have varying amounts of free time. The aim is to have young writers be as much a part of our literary community as we are. I’m going to ask that each pair pick a theme, it can be activism related, such as a social issues, or it can be off the wall like unicorns holding umbrellas, the thematic concepts is just way to open up dialogue and create a forum for where the art can be born.

If you prefer to work in person with youth we will have writers workshops at my school  in the valley, where you will talk to a whole group of poets, or like I said, for those who are busy, technology is great! This is not a huge commitment, but you are welcomed to be involved as you want. We practice about three times a week, have youth open mic, etc. Please email me/Facebook me via personal message by Monday if you are interested. Also, if this doesn’t fit for you but might for another poet you know please share.

Also if we get a huge reply, I welcome everyone to be involved. However, we might only be able to feature 10 adult poets but there are many, many events to come in the future. For any updates please follow Poets4Progress via FB, Instagram and Twitter. Please contact me with any questions

Write on. Shine on.


Kelly Grace Thomas