Stories of Transformation Poetry Celebration

We invited you to express your lived experiences and challenge the idea that some genders have more value. We invited you to explore what a new world could look like if we dream big and recognize our interconnectedness. And you have exceeded our expectations!

The Stories of Transformation Writing Challenge was an opportunity for Idaho middle school, junior high school, and high school students to explore the following writing prompts:

  • Connection: Describe the part of yourself that already understands its deep connections with all living things. What does this self want you and others to experience, understand and feel? Inspired by poet Joy Harjo.
  • Personal History: Tell the story of your people. Who are your people? Where have they been and what has happened to them? What has been the source of their resilience? What has or could healing look like in and beyond your community? What is the future you long for your community? Inspired by author Junot Diaz
  • Imagining Another World: Envision a radically different world rooted in courageous love and mutual responsibility. Where do you see signs that this new world is “already on her way”? Inspired by author Arundati Roy
  • Collective Liberation: None of us are truly free from violence and domination until all of us are free. Write about why and how this is true for you. Inspired by poet Audre Lorde
  • Interrupting Gender Injustice: Your choices have power. By choosing how you respond to behaviors or statements that objectify or devalue girls and women or people who are gender nonconforming, you make a statement about what you value. Write about a moment when you made a choice about gender. Inspired by Maya Angelou
  • Wholeness and Gender: Much of our understanding and experience of gender is socially and culturally constructed. As children we learn what to be, think and do based on the gender we are assigned at birth and the culture we live in. Yet to be whole, we all need to have access to full range of human emotions and behaviors, regardless of our gender. Write about your experience of this. Inspired by Sherman Alexie

Thank you to everyone who participated in the challenge, click here to view authors who have had their poems selected to be published!

Select the images below to view a PDF copy of 2017’s poetry collection (collection booklets will be awarded at the April 6th celebration).



Please email Estefania Mondragon at , and thank you for joining us!