Poetry has long been a way for many to express emotions and to put feelings into words that otherwise wouldn’t be shared. The St. Louis Poetry Center is doing just this, and has brought healing to dozens of women who have been abused through workshops at Safe Connections, a center for survivors of domestic violence.
Last fall, the St. Louis Poetry Center sought funds on power2give.org to expand their schedule of poetry workshops to a monthly program at Safe Connections. The workshops are part of the social activities for the survivors; through poetry and writing the participants can find a path through their emotions of anger and fear. The successful project allowed Jennifer Fandel, a poet educator and former St. Louis Poetry Center board member, to go to Safe Connections and facilitate workshops with the survivors.
The power2give project helped to cover the costs of the workshops and the cost of printing a culminating poetry book at the end of the year comprised of work by the participants in the poetry workshops.
“Safe and Strong was an amazing project for us. It connected us with supporters we may have not met otherwise and they were passionate about what we were bringing to these women in terms of hope, self-esteem, and community,” said Nancy Hughes, Executive Director of the Poetry Center.
Here is an example of a poem written by a survivor who went through the workshop:
Striving for Inner Peace
Striving for inner peace,
love, courage. On a spiritual
the strong woman
inside. She is ready
to come out and
play. She is ready
to take on the
The St. Louis Poetry Center is a diverse organization with a variety of programs. Beginning in 1946 when Mrs. Fred Armstrong saw the need to establish a place for writers as a way to stimulate the writing of poetry, the Poetry Center has expanded from not only being a place to stimulate the creation of poetry, but as a place for workshops, readings, and poetry lessons. The organization also teams with the 7th Grade Poetry Foundation, an A&E PNC Project Grant Recipient, to lead seventh graders in poetry writing workshops. In addition to Safe Connections, another of the St. Louis Poetry Center’s many programs includes IMPACT STL, which provides educational youth development programs and activities to children who have limited access to community and social service programs. Other programs through the center include Poets in Prison, Poets in the County Schools, and Edgewood Children’s Center Poetry Workshops. For a complete list of programs, click here.
The St. Louis Poetry Center will be posting another project on power2give.org soon, so check the site in early 2015 for updates!