Register for Ignite Pongo: Foundations

Register for Ignite Pongo: Foundations

Tickets & Registration

Join Ignite Pongo on Saturday October 22nd to learn foundational techniques to facilitate personal, healing poetry in your classroom, therapeutic practice, or community space.


Pongo Overview

Pongo Poetry Project is a Seattle-based nonprofit that uses personal poetry to facilitate healing among youth coping with devastating traumas. Our mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth.

At the heart of our program is the Pongo Method, a trauma-informed technique for teaching poetry, created in consultation with psychiatrists and researchers from the University of Washington. Pongo’s approach offers youth a safe, gratifying way to express feelings about some of the worst experiences imaginable, including abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence.

About Ignite Pongo

Ignite Pongo attendees will learn and practice Pongo techniques which facilitate powerful personal poetry that inspires healing, growth, and community! In this immersive training, attendees will hone their skills as a Poetry Mentor, learn how to remove barriers to self-expression, and encourage honesty from survivors of difficult life experiences. During the day’s activities, participants will also write their own poetry and will experience the relief and joy that comes with the Pongo Method.

Check out our FAQs for more information on the history, evolution, and purpose of the Ignite Pongo Training Series.

Training Materials & Add-Ons

Writing With At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Teen Writing Method ($34.95): Please purchase via Amazon.

Written by Pongo’s Founder, Richard Gold, MA, Writing With At-Risk Youth (2014) is the time-tested, essential field-guide to starting your own poetry project.

Ignite Pongo Training Participant Materials Packet ($10-shipping included): Please purchase via Eventbrite page.

Participants not ordering the packet will either have to a.) print out the packet at their own cost or b.) have the electronic version of the packet digitally accessible while doing the training. We highly recommend this packet accessible in print-form as we will be referencing it throughout the training. Relying on just the electronic version during the training is not recommended for those with only one computer screen and/or those uncomfortable navigating multiple windows while in online Zoom trainings).

Meet Your Trainers

Ashley Skartvedt, MFA, CTRS/R, RYT-200

I’m Ashley Skartvedt, Co-Executive Director, Programs for Pongo Poetry Project. I’ve been affiliated with Pongo since 2013 and have served as a volunteer, mentor, trainer, and project lead. I’ve spent the majority of my career as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Yoga Instructor helping people heal from trauma by leading therapeutic groups for youth in psychiatric hospitals and teaching mind-body awareness to adults in yoga studios. As a lifelong learner, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge with you, so you can make a positive impact on the individuals and communities you serve. I have an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from the University of Washington, Bothell and enjoy writing poetry, sharing my creative work, and uplifting the voices of others, especially those who are affected by institutional and systemic oppression.

Aisha Al-Amin

I’m Aisha Al-Amin, a full-time student, non-profit professional, and poet. I’ve spent the past five years working with Black and brown youth and their communities as a facilitator, program organizer, and fundraiser. I’m currently a Pongo Poetry Project board member and serve on the Board Development and Race, Equity, & Social Justice committees. I also volunteer as a board member with AFP Advancement NW and as a mentor with Young Women Empowered. I believe writing is not only an incredible tool for healing, but also an incredible tool for collective liberation. I know that through centering writing young people can create change in their lives.


Partial scholarships are available. To request a scholarship for this training, please fill out the application via this link. Applications are due by Friday September 23, 2022.

Scholarships will be reserved for those intent on starting their own Pongo-inspired poetry project.

Filming Consent

By registering for and attending Ignite Pongo, all guests agree to the following statement:

I understand that Pongo will record this event for educational purposes, and that images of me and recordings of my voice may appear in the completed recording. By registering I consent to the depiction and use of my image and words in the completed recording and the future use of the recording by Pongo for educational purposes only. I understand that depictions of me will not be used commercially, by Pongo or others, and will not be given to, sold to, or shared with any person or entity other than Pongo or used for any purpose other than Pongo’s educational purposes. I release Pongo from all liability in connection with the educational use of the recording and images identified above.


Pongo is grateful to 4Culture for its support, which makes our public programming possible!

Follow @pongopoetry on Instagram