Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:18 PM EDT
They're children, but you might be surprised at just what these 12 and 13 year old students have already experienced.
Devin writes about witnessing his father shooting his mother, when he was just 5 years old.
Other students write about their struggles at home, bullies, and young love
These are the finalist in Asheville Middle Schools "Poetry Slam"
This morning they're working on their diction and delievery.
Students say learning how to express themselves by using the "spoken word" is life changing.
The 6th and 7th graders also learn how to accept constructive criticism and to be a good and attentive audience.
"Spoken Word" poetry is taught in their English class.
They say it has allowed them to connect with something they're passionate about.