VOICES: POETRY FOR THE PEOPLE is a collaborative project based in a series of workshops led by poet Aja Monet. The workshops tackle the intractable issues of our day including gun violence in communities/schools, heteropatriarchy, and structural racism in the legal system by providing a space where those who find themselves silenced, stripped of their voice or ignored can reclaim their narratives in poetry. The sessions are facilitated in a way that does not reinforce victimhood but rather evokes power, as we seek to build a community of trust among workshop participants who engage with each other, not as “client” or “organizer,” but as fellow learners, writers, friends. The workshops give participants an outlet to tell the story of now, an opportunity to chronicle events central to their lives as they happen, and a space to take shelter in even as traumatic, unjust or disruptive events happen in their outside lives. Maroon Poetry Festival is the first of its fruits.