By Brianna Brown

With nine high schools participating in the first day of Louder than a Bomb Canada 2017, Crossing the Street kicked off the Hamilton youth poetry festival on Monday, May 8. Youth poets from each of schools worked to improve their craft, collaborate, and learn from experienced artists.

The day began by introducing the special guests – professional artists and LTABC mentors Lillian Allen, Komi Olaf and Gary Barwin. Lillian Allen took the stage to give the first theme of the festival, esphrasis –the verbal description of a visual art. The day’s workshops delved into this theme; young poets were split up into groups to learn from guest mentors and create with writers from different high schools.

Each mentor taught their own lessons in the beautiful and inspiring rooms of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. In one area, Lillian Allen asked poets to consider the artwork as a muse. Gary Barwin incorporated music into his workshop, playing the saxophone to add rhythm and generate creativity. Komi Olaf brought poets outside to draw from nature in his workshop and shared his methods for kickstarting creative throughts. During the lunch break, current and upcoming Hamilton Youth Poet student mentors hit the stage with some incredible and inspiring performances.

Crossing the Street was an exciting start to Louder Than A Bomb Canada, which continues until May 20. Don’t miss out on hearing Hamilton’s brightest young voices ring out across the city.


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