The Power of Place + Past + Poetry

During a “Race Talk” Potluck earlier this year, Caprice Hollins, of Cultures Connecting, led participants in a poetry writing exercise. The resulting “I Am From” poems speak to the power of the places and histories that shape each of us.

Pongo Teen Writing uses a similar prompt to create “Where I Come From” poems. As Richard Gold, founded of Pongo, says:

“Where I Come From” is often about more than a place, it’s about something deep in us . . . “Where I Come From” is about who we are.

Check out the winning Pongo Poetry Prize “Where I Come From” poem and some of the great poems below that were written at the “Race Talk” Potluck and that we have permission to share.

Where do you come from?

Tell us in the comments. Here are some prompts from Pongo’s website to get you started:

  • I’m from a street where _______________________________.
  • I’m from a long line of people who ____________________________.
  • I come from experiences like _____________________________.

“I Am From” Poems

– By Mizu Sugimura, 56

Anonymous, 32

Kiaira Riggins, 17

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