LatinaLista — Words are powerful. There is perhaps no generation who knows the truth of that statement better than today’s teenagers. From text and Facebook messages/campaigns to cyber/physical bullying, today’s kids are creating more words and bombarded with words than probably any generation before them.
This is also the multi-media generation where YouTube, podcasts and apps influence how they interact with others. And, for the first time, it’s a generation who has the opportunity to directly reach those influencers who can make a difference about issues a young person may be passionate about.
Three distinct elements that when combined create a most awesome online site that uses the oldest genre of literature to help teens use their voices to create a social impact. Called Power Poetry, it is a mobile poetry community where teens create and post their poetry to share with the world, get feedback from other poets and, perhaps best of all, learn how to use poetry as a weapon for personal change and growth.
Described as a mash-up of words and technology, young poets are encouraged to share their poetry in a variety of ways: through laptops and desktops, tablets and i-Pods, smart phones and not-so-smart phones. You can use straight up text, (text “POEM” to 41411) you can use your phones to record your voices, you can add photos and images, and finally, you can share videos of your poems—we call these filmed poems “poemisodes”.
The site empowers teens to use their creativity to create poems about issues that mean something to them and share those poems not just by posting them on line at the site but via the site’s online poetry slams. The creators of the site want Power Poetry to be a “place where people believe that words are powerful and that words can change the world.”
It doesn’t hurt that the teen poets also get paid for their words.
We are reaching out to organizations and movements who need strong young voices to help them out. Just imagine, one day you write a poem about missing your dad who is locked away in prison. You share this poem with the Power Poetry community, and Power Poetry shares your poem with a bunch of organizations working hard to help reform prisons. The folks at one of those organizations reads your poem, loves it and posts it on their website…But wait…they are so impressed with your work, that they give you a paid internship to help them write their prison reform literature! Now you’re not only writing poetry, but you’re writing poetry that helps make the world a better place and you’re getting paid to be creative.
The site isn’t just for established poets either. In the “Resources” section, how-to videos show wannabe poets how to create a poem, where to get inspiration and are introduced to the works of popular poets.
And while some of the poems are personal and others are about issues, it’s clear that overall the site features poems with a purpose — to make a positive impact on the world.