Poetry and Showcases

Give me a journal, a stage, or a classroom. (I’m in.) 

After hours, I’m often wordsmith-ing poetry or helping others flex their writing muscles, too.

Spoken word performances

First, some legalese: The filmed poems on this page are spoken word and are intended for live performance. No part of them may be copied, used, or performed without written consent from the author.

Annual Artists Showcase by Pulse Poetic

Local artists share their recent work in an intimate and semi-private event. This is our small way of promoting the arts—poetry, novel writing, song writing, and storytelling—in the Central Coast community.

Creative writing programs

These specific workshops and classes were done either pro-bono or through government programming. Since they all involve minors, certain details are limited.


Inside Voices

This was sponsored by Restorative Partners and taught by Cait Emma Smith and Carly Smoot—is a writing workshop designed for the minors at the San Luis Obispo Juvenile Hall. From 2013 to 2017, this program helped hundreds of students ages 12 to 17 find the skills and insights into healthy expression through the written word. Each workshop centers on a unique topic—which is explored through activities and group discussion. Topics range from identity and spirituality to family and culture. Writing exercises include poetry, fiction, non-fiction, journaling, rapping, and letter writing. Inside Voices seeks to promote creativity, foster healthy behaviors, enable a sense of empowerment, and encourage critical thinking. Logo designed by Mai K. Nguyen.


This was a young women’s creative writing initiative, founded by Cait Emma Smith in January 2015. It was designed, specifically, for females who have been impacted by crime. It provided a safe space where students could explore and critically think about their identity in an out of the legal system. Themes ranged—body image, interpersonal relationships, notions of beauty and affirmation, self-reliance, stereotypes, cultural influences (like celebrity culture, fashion, and social media), peer pressure, and gossip. Writing exercises included poetry, fiction, non-fiction, journaling, and song writing. HerVoice was developed to foster the personal growth of young women as they search for independence, strength, and creativity. Logo designed by Kathy Choi.

Summer of Sisterhood

This was a 3-month program that served students at New Tech High School in 2017. Led by Dara Stepanek and Cait Emma Smith, it sought to help young women think through cultural, political, and social issues. Over several months, there were local guest speakers. One of the most impactful was a social worker who covered the myths, benefits, and process of mental health and therapy.

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