CEEAS | The Podcast Project: Voices of Words Unlocked 2017
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The Podcast Project: Voices of Words Unlocked 2017

“When I write poetry, it’s like:
here’s what I think;
here’s what I know;
and here is what I wish could be.”


~ James, a student at the Mat-Su Youth Facility, Palmer, Alaska

This year’s Words Unlocked Podcast Project features the words and experiences of the student writers and educators at the Mat-Su Secondary School in Palmer, Alaska, and the Travis Hill School in New Orleans, Louisiana, as they worked through the Words Unlocked curriculum and wrote poems on this year’s theme of Authenticity. Both schools are located inside of secure youth detention centers.

Together, teachers and students at each site and CEEAS co-produced these podcasts, making audio recordings of class discussions, writing workshops, interviews, and poetry readings throughout Words Unlocked. We at CEEAS believe deeply in the power of poetry, and we hope that you will listen to the voices and work of these young writers and hear their truth and beauty.

Many thanks to Tom Pine, Teacher at the Mat-Su Secondary School, and Alexis Kedo, Teacher at the Travis Hill School. We also thank all of the educators, administrators, and supporters at each site for making the Words Unlocked 2017 Podcast Project possible, in particular: Lori Fuller, Juvenile Justice Supervisor at the Mat-Su Youth Facility; Lucy Hope, Administrator of the Mat-Su Secondary School; Linda Wallace, Classroom Tutor at the Mat-Su Secondary School; and Germaine Simon, Director of Juvenile Detention at the Youth Study Center in New Orleans.

We are especially grateful to the poets who allowed us to share their words and voices this year: Deion, James, James, Devyn, Jesse, Shawnie, and L.T. from the Mat-Su Secondary School, with appreciation to Paul for music suggestions; and D’Aundre, Jarvell, Justin, Tirek, and Miqueghele from the Travis Hill School. Thank you!

The Podcasts

(1) Voices of Words Unlocked 2017

Listen to students and teachers from the Mat-Su Secondary School and the Travis Hill School as they experience and express the power of poetry. With special thanks to DSO Shomari Sampson of Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, CA, for creating the original “Words Unlocked” theme song.

(2) Voices of Mat-Su Youth Facility

Listen to Teacher Tom Pine and students at the Mat-Su Secondary School “being real,” as they explore the theme of Authenticity through a wide range of poetry texts and personal experiences.
[Music: “Be Yourself,” by Yelawolf]

(3) Voices of Travis Hill School

Listen to Travis Hill students discuss their poetry; participate in a writing workshop with New Orleans-based Words Unlocked 2017 featured poet FreeQuency; and share their work so that those on the outside may hear them.
[Music: “Look Back In,” courtesy of mobygratis]

Other Great Stuff To Listen To

Mat-Su Secondary School
Travis Hill School