On Air

Tools to tell your story: Hamilton Youth Poets

Blog/NewsMay 8th 2018
Brian Zheng

Created in 2012, Hamilton Youth Poets (HYP) is an organization dedicated to helping youth in our community develop creative skills. By teaching new forms of expression can help youth tell their stories and amplify their voices. Participants can broadcast their stories on a public platform, and both performers and audience members gain a deeper understanding of their city. As an arts organization, HYP offers several different programs for spoken word, verse, multimedia, poetry slam, and new age journalism.


 Photograph by: George Qua-enoo

AK and Ry, teaching artists at HYP, explains art and spoken word provides a new type of expression for students, who are otherwise quiet, to feel comfortable using. AK explained teachers would come up to him and talk about students performing pieces of poetry in front of their classes, despite being usually timid. AK talks about how art gives students a method of slowing down, compiling and understanding the experiences they go through.

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Youth Poets

HYP offers number of different programs, such as Check the Method, which is an introductory class in poetry and hip-hop spoken work and offers a number of opportunities for student to publish their work. Some other programs include: Emcee Workshop, Write to the City, & Hamilton Beat.

The work participants do throughout the year are celebrated in their annual festival: Louder Than A Bomb Canada (LTABC). This is a annual Hip Hop poetry youth festival that brings together writers, emcees, poets and poetry teams founded in schools and community centers. This is the largest youth poetry festival in the nation and provides and opportunity for young people to speak and be heard.

The 2018 5th annual Louder Than A Bomb Canada takes place May 10th – 17th in various locations around Hamilton. This event features a variety of poetry competitions and events. Tickets and more information can be found here.

To listen to their full interview, click the link below.