The teaching of poetry is not important. That is what an analysis of the four of the top journals in English Education - English Education, English Journal, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and Research in the Teaching of English - says. The work of the High School Literacy Project combated this notion while seeking to encourage the development of critical literacy in adolescents who did not identify as writers or active readers. This writing as inquiry dissertation explores some of the curricular nuances of the project. Through conquering words and studying the work of contemporary, multicultural writers, students were challenged to become engaged learners and change agents. They were pushed to recognize voice and work to establish their own writing voices, and invest in becoming writers and readers.