The 2016 Utah Youth In Care Poetry Anthology


The spring of 2016 was the fourth year that students in Utah’s detention centers, secure facilities and treatment programs submitted poems to the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings’ national poetry writing initiative and contest, Words Unlocked. Each year that Utah students have participated in Words Unlocked, poems by Utah students have been selected for publication in the Words Unlocked Poetry Anthology. 19 of the Utah participants pieces were chosen, but many outstanding pieces of poetry were not going to see the light of day.  Bonnie Shaw decided to create an annual Youth In Care Anthology Chapbook to share the incredible and powerful work that these youth have created.

From the introduction by Bonnie Shaw:

“Each of these poems is a little star, burning warm and bright. I want to share their light. Read them and be amazed at the artistry, creativity, intensity, and originality glowing out into the world from inside Utah’s lock-up facilities. Read them again and delight in these young poets’ self-expression, rhythms and rhymes, ideas and images, depth of pain and joy, thought and heart. A locked door cannot lock down the poetic spark. Read and discover absolute delight in these amazing poems.”

Download the chapbook here: unpublishedpoems_v5

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