Young people will channel their emotions and thoughts into poetry for a youth poetry reading Friday.

The reading at Pelican Bay Books and Coffeehouse, 520 Commercial Ave., will feature eight poets who all are current or former students of Anacortes High School.

The reading is part of an ongoing series of monthly poetry readings at the coffee shop. Admission is free.

Poets are Anna Prewitt, Addi Garner, John Harrison, Geoffrey Hamilton, Alex Hanesworth, Layne Woodward, Will McCracken and Jade Carter.

Carter said poetry helps her express herself in a way that other mediums don’t.

“It’s a really healing method in a lot of ways,” she said.

Many of her poems are themed around nature — both about nature itself and by using nature as a way to process emotions and internal struggles, she said.

Poetry helps her sort through her thoughts and deal with them.

Carter said people sometimes avoid poetry readings because they think will be intense.

It can be, but it’s also an emotional, powerful and a great way to support young artists, she said.

Woodward agreed.

“Encouragement and support of any kind is very important and validating, and showing up for this demonstrates to these new poets that their work is worth hearing and their passions are worth pursuing,” he said in an email.

Woodward started writing poetry about two years ago. He said in an email that he has been writing for about two years and will be reading “The Moon” and “A Warped Image.”

“I write poetry to express emotions I don’t feel I can say in normal conversation,” he said. “It’s my way of expressing feelings that I would normally keep bottled up and saying things that I wish I could say out loud.”

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