St. Louis Poetry Center Outreach Poetry Workshops for Youth and the Under-served:

The following are the various outreach programs sponsored by SLPC. Some are currently active, others are awaiting funding and oversight. Please allow us to provide a personal tour by calling 314-973-0616 or email at [email protected].

Enjoy this four minute VIDEO (link takes you to YouTube) featuring several of our outreach poets :  St. Louis Poetry Center’s Poet Educators Reach Out 2012-2013

Safe Connections

Thanks to YOU and the Power2give* campaign, The Poetry Center and poet educator Jennifer Fandel will give ten poetry workshops for the women at Safe Connections.  These workshops are part of Safe Connections’ programs to provide a safe social and creative environment for their participants.  “Our mission is to reduce the impact and incidence of relationship violence and sexual assault through education, crisis intervention, counseling and support services.”  Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Safe Connections is a place where relationship violence and its long-term effects are addressed in complete confidence and security. Their individual counseling enables thousands of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to reclaim their lives.

*The power2give.org campaign is operated by the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, and seeks to use crowd-sourcing to raise awareness of worthy programs.

Midtown After School Program and Midtown Mommas

Poet educators work in the Midtown After School  Program with students age 6-16 in small group settings during the school year.  When funding permits we also work with the Midtown Mommas, a mothers’ group that meets regularly with Midtown staff.  This is not a contracted program but a service the Poetry Center provides to this wonderful community center.


IMPACT St. Louis provides innovative and educational youth development programs and activities to children who have limited access to community and social service programs. The Poetry Center partners with IMPACT STL in schools and other community sites, to create a lasting impact in the lives of our youth, their families and ultimately the St. Louis community.

Friends with a Better Plan

The St. Louis Poetry Center has once again been invited to present poetry workshops for FBP’s high school students in their after-school enrichment programs at Vashon, Gateway, Soldan and Sumner High Schools. A new site added this fall is Kottemeyer Big Picture High School. Poet educators include Derek Hudson (known by Meru Mauddib), and Arts Educator of the Year, Jane Ellen Ibur. Each site had three sessions with approximately 20 students participating each week.  SLPC hopes to continue these sessions in the spring term.

SLPC and “Friends with a Better Plan”

“Raw!…. She helped the kids channel into their feelings about real topics like crime, family, unhappiness and death.”
After school workshop assistant for Friends with a Better Plan and their program for students at Gateway High School

“I love the way you teach and tell your life stories!  Thank you!”
Student from Gateway High School after school poetry workshops

Poets in Prison

The Poetry Center delivers multiple-week poetry workshop sessions in St. Louis holding facilities (jails) such as The St. Louis County Department of Justice Services’ male inmates. Self-discovery and improved literacy skills bring renewal into these broken lives.

Poet Workshop leader: Jane Ellen Ibur

Edgewood Children’s Center Poetry Workshops

Abused and disabled children participate in weekly interactions about self expression, creative writing through poetry. These young lives are encouraged to heal and to grow by the empowerment of self-expression and literacy.

Poetry Workshop leader:  Jane Ellen Ibur

Poets in the County Schools

“Visiting Poets” are provided to various county schools in both Missouri and Illinois as a supplement to creative writing classes. Though these are not typically seen as under-served communities, the exposure of these students to poets and poetry may be minimal due to limited funding.

Poetry Workshop leaders:    Marie Chewe-Elliott, Loy Ledbetter, Rachel Epstein and Stephanie Williams, Kara Moyer, Gillian Parrish

Interchange: Arts in the St. Louis City Schools

The Poetry Center and numerous other arts organizations in St. Louis continue with a flurry of creative activity at a growing number of city schools; K-8. Our workshop poets are bringing poetry writing to students in the form of nature studies, science classes, geographical histories, and of course personal narratives.

Poetry Workshop leader: Brit Blasingame, Susan Grigsby, Emily Hoehn