Poetry for the Future is a vibrant, collaborative series of poetry writing workshops for queer and trans youth residing in Centre County. Workshops throughout the school year are led by Ridgelines Teaching Poet Brooklyn Leonhardt, and take place with high school GSAs and other queer-friendly youth groups. These academic-year workshops culminate in a 6-day intensive summer poetry writing workshop in June, taught by nationally-recognized poet Nico Amador. 


The summer component of Poetry for the Future invites young people to unleash their imaginative powers and explore language and poetry as a grounds for investigating their voices, identities, and perspectives on the world around them. The workshop breaks from the ways poetry is usually taught in high school classrooms, focusing less on prosody (meter, form, etc.) and instead coming to understand poetry as a grounds for discovery—a place where rules can be broken, traditions borrowed and made new, visionary possibilities can be enacted, and vulnerabilities in one's own experience can be transformed as a source of strength and creativity. In developing Poetry for the Future, Ridgelines is responding to the lack of platforms for queer and trans youth voices in our region, as well as to the dearth of expert, extracurricular creative writing instruction for youth in general. This program is in collaboration with the Centre LGBTQA Support Network and is supported in part by the Centre Foundation’s Centre Children’s Fund.

The Poetry for the Future summer workshop is on hold; please check back for updates!

Poetry for the Future is made possible by generous support from individual donors, as well as from the Centre Foundation’s Centre Children’s Fund.