The Chewstick Foundation’s ChewSLAM program is a spokenword poetry club that Chewstick says “will take participants on a journey through poetry, creative writing and spokenword performance. It is designed to tap into young people’s creativity and give it a new medium to voice itself and to share it with the world. No experience is necessary to join, but great experiences will be gained.”
“ChewSLAM participants will be challenged to write poetry that is inspired and tells a story that only they can. They will be given opportunities to perform their pieces; to each other at first and then publicly. Poetry has always been a great medium for expressing oneself and developing literacy and creativity. Spokenword builds off of this tradition by adding performance to the written word. This aids in developing confidence, performance skills, self-worth, teamwork and so much more,” said a spokesperson.
ChewSLAM will be led by two Bermudian poets and long time Chewstick family members Chris Astwood and Stephan Johnstone. Chris recently received his Masters in Creative Writing and Poetry, has been published in several international journals and has performed in The Bermuda Festival and just about every local stage. Mr Astwood adds “Participants can expect to have both their composition and performance skills enhanced in a cooperative group environment, where they’ll gain the confidence to rock the mic!”
Stephan Johnstone has released two spoken word albums and is currently working on a third, while moving towards his first written publication.
He says “It feels great to be a part of a program that inspires younger generations through poetry and spokenword, and hopefully I can pass on what I have, learned over the years”.
ChewSLAM takes place weekly starting Saturday, April 16th from 2pm-4pm at the new Chewstick Headquarters. ChewSLAM is free and open to participants 17 and under and it doesn’t matter how much experience you have. For more information, visit www.chewstick.org, e-mail email@example.com any time of day or night or call 292-2439 Monday-Friday, 9-5.