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Underground Writing is a literature-based creative writing program serving migrant, incarcerated, recovery, and other at-need communities in Northern Washington through literary engagement and personal restoration.

One of the original teaching writers with Underground Writing, A. Muia has facilitated workshops with youth in Skagit County Juvenile Detention since 2015.


Workshops encourage generative encounters with literature spanning the tradition—from ancient texts to those written by emerging writers in the workshop. Honoring the transforming power of the word, we believe that attentive reading leads to attentive writing, and that attentive writing has the power to assist in the restoration of communities, the imagination, and individual lives.

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Kite 6 - A. MuiaUnderground Writing
00:00 / 04:57

Listen to A. Muia read student work from juvenile detention:

Poem for

balloons of all colors

held in the hands of children


Poem about

how poverty should not be a thing

when so many people are so wealthy


Poem about



Poem concerning

why people can’t get along


Poem for

water perfect for swimming

birds that fly overhead and chirp

green surrounding

and overwhelming


Poem asking

why me


Poem about

food to prevent malnourishment


Poem about



Poem saying

Annabelle, I miss you a lot


Poem to

sister that I don’t get to see


Poem for



Poem about

a near-death experience

crashing my truck

getting adopted


Poem saying

tomorrow is not promised


Poem where

someone says grow up


Poem where

I say it happened, get over it


Poem about

things in my room: clothes, stereo,

drawings from Annabelle


Poem about things in my cell:

books that were recommended

by Annabelle

by M

Skagit County Juvenile Detention

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Underground Writing: Skagit County Juvenile Detention, Mount Vernon, WA. Photos by Matt Malyon.

Student Work
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