Since 1973, WITS has empowered young people across the state of Arkansas by opening doors to self-expression, awareness, articulation, and creative problem-solving—all through the writing and sharing of poetry.

WITS works with students and teachers from diverse backgrounds and makes a concerted effort to reach underfunded school districts in under-served parts of the state, places where the majority of students come from low-income families and are considered “at risk” for dropping out of school.

Our goals for Arkansan students:
  • to gain confidence with written and verbal communication skills
  • to explore new avenues of self-expression and awareness
  • to critically and creatively engage with the world around them
  • to be active contributors to their communities’ creative culture
  • to acknowledge the value of their own observations, singular experiences, and individual voices
  • to share and learn from one another’s unique perspectives
  • to pay close attention to language when reading and writing
  • to take risks in invention and to experiment with creative problem-solving

The recognition and development of these skills will build a generation of leaders, inventors, and problem-solvers–which is especially important when we’re moving into an economy in which ideas and language carry the most capital value.

We believe that poetry is a way of seeing and a means of engaging–and that writing is not only an act of thinking, but that it is active thinking.