Bermudian Poets Poetry Chewslam Brave New Voices

Chewstick artists have banned together in an effort to send talented young people to a world-renowned spoken-word festival.

Bermudian Poets Heather Nova, Ras Mykkal, Stephan Johnstone, Yesha Townsend and Alan Smith will perform at the Ruth Seaton James Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday at 8pm.

Money raised will go towards helping Chewstick’s youth poetry team, ChewSLAM, journey to the 15th Annual Brave New Voices Poetry Festival in San Francisco from July 17 to 21.

Tenae Hassell, Marquedelle Rodriguez, Makeem “Haz” Bartley, Matthew Johnstone, Kevina-Lorae Davis and Kaiias Clarke are among those hoping to attend.

Chewstick administrator Deidra Lee Bean described the fundraiser as an “exciting initiative”.

If this weekend’s event is successful, she said it would help Chewstick send its first ever poetry team overseas “to represent Bermuda on the world stage”.

She said residents could look forward to seeing some of the Island’s best talents, notably world class singer and songwriter Heather Nova.

Ms Bean said Ms Nova wasn’t known to many people as a poet.

“This will be an opportunity to get further in depth with her lyrics, while supporting a cause that could undoubtedly launch the next Bermudian talent onto the world stage.

“Heather has been a supporter of the Chewstick Foundation for a very long time. As a member of the Chewstick Foundation’s board of elders, a major donor, a regular attendee to their open mic jam sessions and as a friend of the movement, she has always recognised the positive efforts of the Chewstick Foundation.”

All the performers are bound to bring something different to the stage, she said. “Each poet has a unique energy, focus and delivery that will show the range of poetic expression and will be eye-opening to all in attendance.”

After the performance people are invited to attend an open mic jam session at Chewstick Neo-Griot Lounge & Café.

The ChewSLAM Poetry Fundraiser will start with an opening reception at 7pm; the performance will follow at 8pm.

Tickets, $15 students, $30 for adults and $50 for patrons, can be purchased on Tickets are also available at Kit & Caboodle, Rock Island Coffee and the Chewstick headquarters on the corner of Elliot and Court Streets.

Donations can also be made on 292-2439.

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The Royal Gazette