Developing Youth Through Poetry

Our Mission:


Phonetic Spit is dedicated to creating space for young & emerging adults to find, develop, and publicly present their voice, & use it to become agents of personal & societal transformation.


Our Story

Since 2011, Phonetic Spit has been transforming communities through the intersections of literary arts, youth development, and social justice programs. While we value the idea of a safe space, the goal is not to avoid discomfort and conflict, but instead to handle those moments with respect, accountability, and expression by creating a brave space for self development.

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Our Impact

Since 2011, we have worked in schools & communities across the Valley to impact over 50,000 young people & empower them with the gift of vulnerable expression. Our programs have included out of school time poetry clubs, community open mics and poetry slams, an annual Youth Poetry Festival, and the publication of an annual Anthology of Youth Poetry. 

Although our focus in very much local, grass roots programming, we understand that it is important to build with our national networks and therefore have created national partnership with Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival, Young Chicago Authors: Louder Than A Bomb, and Poetry Out Loud. . 

Key partnerships: Mesa Arts Center and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.



schools impacted

Our programs have had the privilege of impacting so many students and the reach of our work has spread over multiple states.


Years Serving communities

Over the years Phonetic Spit has shown continued dedication to serving all communities with our various programs


Thousand children Impacted

Impact is measured by the number of lives moved and changed through neighborhoods, communities, & generations,


Our Programs

Phonetic Spit activates multiple types & venues of programming to educate & engage students. Spanning from smaller, interpersonal groups where we are facilitating & teaching students both how & why to use their words with conviction, to larger performance driven events where we highlight the hard work of the students. The core elements of our programs revolve around three major elements: vulnerability, individuality, & willingness.


Young voices rise: Youth poetry festival

As a part of our partnership with the Mesa Arts Center, Phonetic Spit produces the YVR Youth Poetry Festival that brings together students from all across the PHX Metro and surrounding cities for a month long celebration of Youth Voices. This event is directly connected to our residency programs where PS teaching artist / Poet mentors work with in school based poetry clubs.

project lit residencies

In partnership with Mesa Arts Center, these standards-based residences are facilitated by trained Phonetic Spit Poet-Mentors, who partner with schools, community centers, and group homes to bring high level creative writing and performance poetry workshops to the youth. Curriculum is developed, and designed to promote literacy and activate social and emotion development.

Monthly Poetry Open Mic

The Open Mic series provides young & emerging adults the opportunity to engage with the power of spoken word outside of the classroom and into their lived reality. Participants are able to create the centers of new conversations and progressive dialogue that can further their lives, their communities, and the future generations they will influence.

RUSH : single day assemblies

Our school wide assemblies are showcase-style and feature some of the most talented spoken word artists in the Phoenix Area. All assemblies are appropriate for middle and high schools, and are combined with a 90 minute, theme-based creative writing workshops facilitated by trained Phonetic Spit poet-mentors.

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Lisa V.

I was so moved by the words that we’re shared. The work you do and the way you communicate with students is so inspiring and motivating

Taylor Jr. High - RUSH Single Day Assembly



Get Involved

If you have a love for Communicative Arts & a passion for helping young people, we would be honored to connect with you. There are multiple ways to get involved with Phonetic Spit, depending on your skill-set & desired avenue, we will utilize your willingness in the most effective way possible.


Sign Up For a Program

Interested in having Phonetic Spit visit your school or community?


Make a Donation

Thank you in advance for your kind donations to our work?