About the Project

The Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project (WJJCWP) operates a weekly writing club for teens in Whatcom County’s Juvenile Detention facility.  WJJCWP affirms that all youth have a unique voice that deserves to be shared with the community, and that helping teens to connect with the vitality of their imaginations can be a powerful means for self-expression and personal growth. The project was started in 2013 by Bellingham poets Kevin Murphy and Matthew Brouwer and now also includes Lynden creative writing teacher, Sue Likkel.

WJJCWP partners with the Whatcom Detention School, whose goal is to provide a quality education program in a safe and compassionate learning environment so that students feel empowered to realize their potential.

As you will find, the teens share intimately and sometimes shockingly about the oftentimes tragic realities they face on a daily basis. This project is born out of the belief that the very least we can do is let these teens share what it is like to experience what they go through, and that we as a community should listen…

Note, we have been asked to omit student’s names to protect identities.

Chapbooks of student writing are available at Village Books in Bellingham, WA.

To learn more about the project contact Matthew at matthewbrouwerpoet@gmail.com.