By the Numbers

Every student has a voice inside them. It’s our job to bring it into the world.

The ability to share what’s inside is the difference between the shy kid and the charismatic performer, the school hater and the engaged student, the passive bystander and the active citizen.

InsideOut Literary Arts programming can enrich the academic and creative life of every student – from a second grade English Language Learner exploring the nuances of language to the high school student learning to craft stories beyond their next text message.

Whether they have an InsideOut Writer-in-Residence in their classroom or attend our Citywide Poets afterschool sessions, these students look forward to expressing their unique voice, utilizing their imagination and creativity, and feeling confident in their ability to read and write.

Why does learning to write poetry make a difference in a young person’s life?

Because students learn:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • How to improve their writing
  • Positive and constructive ways to communicate their authentic feelings

Our program also:

  • Builds self-confidence
  • Fosters artistic excellence
  • Creates community

Student Stories

Hajjar Baban

InsideOut’s 2017 Detroit Youth Poet Laureate

InsideOut’s 2017 Detroit Youth Poet Laureate, Hajjar Baban, is a Pakistani-born, Afghan-Kurdish poet who explores themes of identity, family and inheritance in her writing. She was runner-up for the inaugural United States Youth Poet Laureate and was accepted into the prestigious First Wave Hip-Hop Arts Scholar at University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Inside Out Poetry Program Youth in Photo


Citywide Poet, 2018

Zuri started her journey with InsideOut in the sixth grade when Mr. Pete taught in her classroom as a part of our Writer-in-Residence program.


Inside Out Poetry Program Youth in Photo

Writers-in-Residence Stories

Suzanne Honda


Suzanne is a Michigan-born poet, fiction writer, and educator. With her previous focus in childhood education, Suzanne was curious about how lessons would translate to a group of older Detroiters.


Peter Markus

Senior Writer

Peter Markus, Senior Writer: “What I found, in teaching this workshop, is that poetry is something that matters, that helps us make sense, that gives us the permission to say what we might not otherwise say.”


Literary Arts Poet Program