Power Poetry Allows Students To Combine Creative Verse And Technology

May 30, 2013  |  

It’s no secret that young people, especially young African Americans, prefer to use their mobile phones to do just about everything. So it makes sense that a nonprofit organization started in the Bronx is encouraging students to use their phones to create and share poetry.

According to the Teens and Technology 2013 report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 78 percent of teenagers ages 12 to 17 have a cell phone, and half of those teenagers have smartphones; 23 percent of teens have a tablet device. And black teens are more likely to access the Internet mostly via their phone, with 33 percent saying they do so, compared to 24 percent of white teens and 21 percent of Hispanic teens.

Power Poetry was started thanks to a group of educators were working on a program called Power Writers that teaches students writing and poetry, including Amy Sultan, Joe Ubiles, Roland Legiardi-Laura, and Dr. Maisha T. Winn. One instructor, Legiardi-Laura, noticed that the students in the program would rather create poems on their phones than in their leather-bound poetry journals, given to them by the instructors. Power Poetry was born out of that insight and is an online and mobile community where young poets could connect and share their work.

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