Street Roots

for those who cannot afford free speech

Our Mission

Street Roots creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual and social change.

I Am Not a Poet

I Am Not A Poet

They arrive scribbled on pizza boxes, brown paper bags, and in carefully wrapped notebooks. Now they're brought together in one important anthology.

From Street Roots, Portland's flagship, non-profit newspaper supporting social advocacy, I Am Not A Poet offers an intimate, honest look into the multiple dimensions of the human experience. Tackling concepts of love and lust, addiction and recovery, street life and survival, hope and humanity, I Am Not A Poet proves that—poet or not—poetry is a vehicle for truth and empowerment. Compiled from fifteen years of printed Street Roots poetry penned by people experiencing homelessness and poverty, all proceeds from the anthology return to Street Roots to support Street Roots' social advocacy and poverty alleviation work.

Celebrated Portland artist Chris Haberman created the cover art.

Keep in touch with Street Roots via our mailing list (subscribe at right) or follow @StreetRoots on Twitter for the latest “I Am Not a Poet” updates.

Order your paperback copy of "I Am Not a Poet" today:

Order your digital copy of "I Am Not a Poet" from

"I Am Not a Poet" Kindle version:
"I Am Not a Poet" EPUB version: (EPUB is a format for non-Kindle devices and apps, such as iBooks and Nook)

Press Materials

"I Am Not a Poet" cover image JPG (205KB)
Press Release: Street Roots to Publish First Book .pdf .doc
"I Am Not a Poet" Book sheet PDF
"I Am Not a Poet" promotional photos JPG 01 02 03
Photo Caption: Vendors Michael Vance, in Seahawks cap, and Michelle Grant participate in Street Roots' creative writing group, from which the majority of the material from "I Am Not a Poet" is sourced. Cole Merkel, Vendor Coordinator at Street Roots, runs the weekly meetings.
Press Release: Original New Art by Chris Haberman to Grace Cover of Upcoming Street Roots Poetry Anthology .pdf .doc
Q&A - Chris Haberman PDF
Q&A - Dan Newth PDF


“Room With a View”
by Dan Newth

Mars laid heavy

in the western sky

the hour before dawn.

Moonlit white buffalo

stampede onto shore,

wrecking themselves on rock

spending themselves in sand.

Such are the moments of life.



Our Friends Speak About Street Roots

It was Street Roots who spoke up against federal housing cuts and saved the homes of low income families in Northwestern Oregon.   It was Street Roots who spoke out on behalf of tenants being displaced from the West Hotel in downtown Portland and won them enhanced relocation benefits.   It is Street Roots who helps us understand the dilemmas of the street cop by publishing a regular article by a police officer.  It is Street Roots leading the charge against proposed cuts to state welfare benefits for low income families.   It is Street Roots reminding us that increasing the supply of affordable apartments is the surest path to reducing homelessness.  Street Roots is the conscience of the community and extraordinarily effective in its advocacy efforts for the poor and homeless.   This paper is truly a community treasure.

- Bobby Weinstock, Northwest Pilot Project