InsideOut has been around since 1995. It is a non-profit that sends writers into Detroit classrooms to teach creative writing and poetry during year-long school residencies. Students in iO classrooms show marked improvement on MEAP test scores in categories such as Ideas, Organization and Style. We also back an after-school program for teen writers called Citywide Poets. Participants in that program have an opportunity to hone their writing and performing skills with nationally-recognized writers. They also have the opportunity to compete for a spot on a slam team that represents Detroit at Brave New Voices, a national spoken-word competition.



Is iO programming free to my child?

Yes! All of our programs are offered free of charge. However, we greatly appreciate donations and ask those families that are able to consider making a tax deductible donation.

What ages are your programs for?

Citywide Poets is for students 13-18. Our school residencies reach students from 3rd through 12th grades.

My child is in an iO classroom. What are they learning and will it help them be stronger students?

If your child is in a classroom that is visited by an InsideOut writer they are learning about more than just poetry. InsideOut students have shown marked statistical improvement in several MEAP categories after a year of instruction. You can read more about what a School Residency involves here and more about the impact of those residencies here.

My teenager is interested in writing, how do I register them for Citywide Poets?

If your teen (ages 13-18) is interested in joining Citywide Poets, please have them fill out this form and either mail it back to us or email it to