FORT WORTH - Regardless of language, Elaine Duran says there is no barrier when it comes to poetry. She says it can touch anyone, including herself.

In 1997, her 15-year-old son died. A few years later, she battled breast cancer.

The Dunbar High School teacher says writing is her therapy.

That's why I started writing, she said. When I was going through the cancer, I had this rage that was in me. The audacity of it all, the pain, I couldn't understand. I went to therapy and it was not beneficial to me. Writing is beneficial to me.

Now, she's passing that along to her students. The teenagers stick around after school to attend Duran's writing workshop called the Poetry Society. For students, the after school writing program provides a vehicle to dream and hope.

It helps mainly all of us because growing up we had no other way of expressing ourselves and writing poetry gives us that benefit, said 15-year-old Stephon Sims.

Duran said the Poetry Society has made a big impact in the lives of many of the high school students.

It's amazing what some of these young people suffer through, she said. And by writing, it takes away some of the harshness, some of the anger; so, they write through the pain. They had gifts they did not know they had.

One of those gifts may be standing right in front of them in the form of Duran herself.

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