Performing Arts Workshop has long partnered with Marin County working with young people in Juvenile hall and Phoenix Academy, Marin County’s drug treatment program. Funded by the Marin Community Foundation, the Workshop has published a number of poetry anthologies with work by youth who spend all or part of their time incarcerated. This year again with help from teaching artist Freddy Gutierrez, poems by these young people will find their way into the world many of them remember with fear and fondness. A selection of these poems are below. For more information, please contact the Workshop.

Art Heals
Art Heals by Rocky Nunez

6 years old – a wetback’s what he called me

a fist to his spectacles, I watched him cry falling

Benjamin Franklin, took my heart by storm

a fatal infatuation which left my hear t torn

protection of my home and the residents in who reside

and monetary struggles seem to dictate my life

school never filled my hunger for education

belittlement to my genius was the teacher’s presentation

after my uncle’s murder my sanity disappeared

my new motivations seem to appear

by Alonzo

Where is your heart?

What have you been seeking?

Where is your heart?

If you give your heart to each and everything

you lead it nowhere

you destroy your heart.

–          Nezahualcoyotl

My heart is Sydney.

She is or has become my heart because

she is the only one I can trust.

She knows everything and anything about me.

After Dante died she made me comfortable

with his death.

We fought which made us closer.

She finishes my sentence.

She’s herself around me.

She’s my first everything.

She loves m as a best friend and her girlfriend.

She holds me when I cry.

She makes me happy, makes me feel complete.

Talk about the randomest things.

She’s my motivation.

And every day I can hear her name and I’ll be better.

Her smile can make my day.

Most importantly she doesn’t influence me.

by Betty

My heart is Atomic bomb.

My heart is a gold treasure.

It’s worth a lot but hard to find.

One of a kind shining all night.

Bright underground open it

and see what you found.

Happiness and sadness will come with it.

Take care of it and don’t lose it.

My heart has been hurt a couple

of times but I try to erase

the bad times my heart has


by Anthony