Cardinal Newman’s slam poetry club scored a slam dunk at this week’s “Louder Than A Bomb” Canadian Youth Poetry Slam Festival, a national competition designed to take youth from silence to empowerment.
Presented by Hamilton Youth Poets, the festival provides an opportunity for youth to come together in a space where they can speak and be heard.
“Slam poetry is the art of performing original pieces of poetry that have incorporated rhyme and literary devices such as metaphors or imagery,” says Grade 12 student, Olivia Pericak. She adds Newman’s team has created pieces that capture attention by putting twists on everyday ideas such as mental illness or social media.
“Then we take the poems to the slam!”
The Hamilton-based competition, held during Youth Mental Health Week, May 6-14, features a mix of hip-hop poetry, oral storytelling and spoken word.
“This art form allows youth to have a voice which helps in creating positive outlets for mental health issues, and it also promotes literacy as it is a literary art form,” says teacher-advisor Cynthia Penich.
A total of 17 schools competed at various venues over the course of the week. Cardinal Newman will advance to the finals on May 14 where they hope to top last year’s 3rd place win with a slam that promises to be “Louder Than A Bomb.” Brothers Paulo and Gabriel Leon-Reyes, who won last year’s “Lyrical Terrorist” Award, will return to defend their title.