Free Verse was founded in 2014 by four MFA students at the University of Montana who began teaching summer creative writing classes at the Missoula County Juvenile Detention Center. Free Verse is now sponsored by the Missoula Writing Collaborative, publishes student work with the Beat Within, has teachers in Billings, Missoula, and Miles City, and partners with teachers and organizations across Montana.


We are empowering youth incarcerated across Montana to gain agency over their own narrative and to discover their capacity for creativity, empathy, and engagement in the classroom through lessons in literature and creative writing.