Teachers, Counselors, and Other Colleagues --
We are happy to provide information for you on this web site about our approach in facilitating poetry for distressed youth.
But we are particularly pleased to announce that Richard Gold's book WRITING WITH AT-RISK YOUTH: THE PONGO TEEN WRITING MENTHOD is now available from Rowman & Littlefield Education. Our acronym for the book is WAY .
This book is designed to give you the most complete support for this important work. It explains how trauma affects youth, how you can guide the process in the most therapeutic way, how poetry enables healing, how to start a writing project, how to keep everyone safe, and how to use Pongo's specific techniques for facilitating therapeutic writing by distressed youth, both working one-on-one and in groups.
You can read the PREFACE , TABLE OF CONTENTS , and PRAISE for WAY here. Some words of praise are also included below.
Here is a link to ORDER .
" Writing with At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Teen Writing Method provides a roadmap for therapists, counselors, and teachers to help troubled adolescents transform their lives through poetry. Both wise and pragmatic, Pongo reminds us that healing is art; that listening, validation, and respect are core elements of therapeutic relationships; and that human connections underlie our most basic needs and our most rewarding experiences."
Jack McClellan, MD. Medical Director, Child Study and
Treatment Center; Professor, University of Washington
School of Medicine. Seattle, Washington.
" Writing with At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Teen Writing Method makes a wonderful contribution to our collective response to youth affected by trauma and hardship. Facing up to trauma experiences and developing a new narrative is proven to work for recovery. Expressive writing is an amazingly powerful method of doing just that. This book helps youth to find their voice, learn their strengths, and give themselves hope for their future."
Lucy Berliner, MSW. Director, Harborview Center for
Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress; Clinical Associate
Professor, University of Washington School of Social
Work and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Sciences. Seattle, Washington.
"Richard Gold's creativity, compassion, and empathy, coupled with his deep sense of the integrity of the human spirit, has allowed healing and restorative expressions to flow from adolescents who have experienced profound emotional traumas. The Pongo Method is essentially a way for these young people---many with severe emotional problems and some who have been ensnared in the juvenile justice system---to learn to communicate and think about their life experience through poetry and storytelling. Many are able to reframe horrific experiences and put some closure around "issues" that they have held back from feeling and thinking about. Although the Pongo "process" is not therapy in a traditional sense, it represents the essential elements of the most effective treatments and does this through a modality that youth can engage in with honesty and trust."
Eric Trupin, PhD. Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department
of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington
School of Medicine; Professor and Director of the Division of
Public and Behavioral Health; Director of Evidence Based
Practice Institute. Seattle, Washington.
Websites for additional information:  
You probably hear this a lot, but. . your class has changed my life! Taking your classes and being a part of this experience has re-ignited a long smoldering desire to go back and finish my degree at UCLA and pursue the creative writing program. I have been a music video and commercial line producer for almost 18 years, always supporting the creative process but never allowing my own voice to be heard. It has been a great career but for the past few years I have been searching for what is next for me. I am ridiculously busy producing six commercials through July but I plan to take the class again. Thanks again for everything! All the best —Jessica Cooper Carlson
In your broadest claim you want only what is essential. So ask yourself this — is greasing the pan an essential step? Absolutely not! Of course, if you want to have any realistic opportunity to get the cake out of the pan in one piece you will almost certainly want to grease the pan, but if your method is about making the cake you have successfully done that with the cake securely fastened in the pan that was not greased prior to use.
Goldberg's rules, which are infused with the study and practice of Zen Buddhism, make the process of free writing more accessible for a beginner and are perhaps less extreme than those of Kerouac, although they are still tinged with an element of mysticism.