This program was developed for incarcerated parents and their adolescent children as a tool to help rebuild family ties and relationships. Incarceration is anything but a positive environment for parents or children, which is why a program like this is so necessary. We hope to establish family ties by having both the incarcerated parent and their adolescent child work through each exercise together, which will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of each other.

If you happen to be an incarcerated parent or an adolescent, then as you gain an understanding of yourself through this book, you can share your growth with your family member and rebuild the love that only a parent and child can have for each other. This discovery process is a learning paradigm that will bridge the gap of separation caused by incarceration.

This program, however, is not limited to incarcerated parents and their adolescent children. The course can be followed by individual persons, groups of adults, at-risk youth, high school students, college students, and even you, the reader, regardless of what categories you fall into. The course is only limited by the dedication, commitment, and skill of the user.

This program focuses on the structuring of ideas, images, and desires that can only be represented through words. These words, when structured into expressive pieces of art, form the foundation of poetry.

Poetry expresses the deepest portions of our being. It’s a form of literature that stands the test of time through its continuous interpretive evolution that meets the reader’s desires and dreams.

Poetry is a format that is often associated with its rules and rigidity. In reality, poetry is all about learning the established structures, then breaking them down and creating new forms. You can learn rhyming schemes so that you can play around with slant rhymes and inside rhymes; you can learn about sonnets in their traditional sense so that you can create their own formats similar to a sonnet and express love in your own way; and you can learn from naturalistic odes to appreciate the beauty in nature and beauty within yourself.

Poetry is a tool to reframe stories and structures that imprison all of us, and it is our hope that this course will give you the tools to reimagine your world in a beautiful, liberating way.

If you stay, you will learn things about yourself that you never knew even existed. You’ll embark on a journey of exploration that expands into the wilderness of the self. You will grow, you will change, and you will leave here with a rare tool: the knowledge that poetry, a simple art that comes from you, can change your life.

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