I like the idea of writing for a purpose.
Let me be clear: I don’t like being preached to. In fact, if I catch scent of a self-important message in the subtext, I’m probably going to reject whatever book/poem/short story/movie/television show I’m reading or watching (looking at you, Seventh Heaven).
I have a particular problem with religious messages, because they all wind down to more or less the same point: you have to believe in God and surrender yourself to Him to be saved. I’m not knocking religion, but neither am I a religious person, so I always feel vaguely condemned when reading these types of works (though I did feel obligated to capitalize “Him”—make of that what you will).
Anyway, I’m not really for stories and poems that lay out exactly how people should live their lives, but I love when authors use creative writing as a way to draw attention to serious situations, especially when the authors themselves have experienced those situations. Love poems are fantastic and hate poems are equally great (and probably still love poems in a way). But there’s something special about moving people, about riling them up enough to look into a subject they hadn’t really thought of before.
A fantastic example of this is Andrea Gibson’s “Blue Blanket,” which tackles the subject of rape and sexual assault. This poem is the kind of masterpiece I’d die to write. She’s got a lot of other great poems, and I’d strongly encourage anyone as enamoured of spoken-word poetry as I am to check her out, but I think this one is her strongest.