My entire life has been filled with literature—a simple fact I feel exceptionally grateful for every single day. Whether a bedtime story, a trip to the library, or writing my own adventures in blank books, writing has been a consistently beautiful and therapeutic thing throughout my life.
And I’m not the only one. When Dachel Fohne, founder and CEO of Poets of Wonder in San Diego, California reached out to me, I knew I was going to fall for her project. I am so excited to share this work with you today.
Liz: Let’s start in true Smile Project fashion. Give me a Happiness is.
Dachel: Happiness is subjective, and the catalyst for happiness is communication.
Liz: What is Poets of Wonder?
Dachel: Poets of Wonder is a startup organization made to publish & teach poetry. PoW currently has a monthly poetry journal, always open to international submissions to the email of PoW.firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage all poets no matter their race, gender, or beliefs to contribute.
We are also currently in the process of writing curriculum to teach those in schools and mental health therapies to write poetry as a form of healthy communication.
Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?
Dachel: What inspires Poets of Wonder is the belief that communication is the saving grace of the world. Everyone needs communication, either between themselves or others, but a common problem I find in the world today is the inability to achieve it in a desired way. As the situation of societies all over the planet becomes more tense and mental health crises boom, being able to tangibly process information will be sought out. Poets of Wonder was made to encourage poets all over the world to use their voice, then give them the opportunity to be heard.
Liz: What does service mean to you?
Dachel: To me, service means selflessness. Service means knowing the risks and barriers, but going at it with your pragmatic all anyway.
Liz: How can folks reading this get involved?
Dachel: Poets of Wonder currently has a website reachable at poetsofwonder.wordpress.com, and an Instagram by the handle of @poets_of_wonder. In the future, we hope to be recruiting ambassadors and teachers to help more people learn the art of communication through poetry.
Liz: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Dachel: An underlying message I hope people will take away from Poets of Wonder is that you do not have to be a professional to be a philanthropist. If you have a goal with a positive impact on your community and you love the idea of pursuing that impact until the end of time, you can do it with time and effort. There is always a way no matter the hardships and scrutiny you might face.
Liz: Do you have a final quote or piece of advice to leave us with?
Dachel: My forever favorite quote is by my Dad saying, “When you find what you love to do, you just gotta do it.” The simplicity is ironic to think about when you have dreams so massive, but it’s true. You have to make a plan and get it done in any way you can if you want to see change happen. Ensuring people worldwide understand that they are not alone, that is every reason to continue to try to make the mission of Poets of Wonder happen.