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Talented US poet to grace Chewstick stage

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One of America’s most accomplished and respected young poets will be sharing her talents with local poetry lovers tonight at Chewstick’s Neo-Griot Lounge.

Aja Monet burst into the spotlight as a member of the first youth team from New York City to win the renown Brave New Voices, youth poetry competition.

At age 19, Ms Monet became the youngest person to ever win the grand slam champion title at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in 2007. She also went on to perform at the NAACP Pre-Inauguration Event for US President Barack Obama.

She will be performing a collection of her poems in a spectacular show tonight at Chewstick, starting at 8pm. Local poets Ron Lightbourne, Yesha Townsend and members of the ChewSLAM Teen Poetry group will also be showcasing their skills.

Chewstick spokeswoman Deidra-Lee Bean said it will be a night “not to be missed”.

“It will be filled with a velvety smooth delivery of conscious poetry of the highest calibre that is guaranteed to soothe the senses,” she said.

“Ms Monet is a prolific poet, who for six years, has served as a youth mentor, poetry mentor, and poetry slam coach (2009) for Urban Word NYC, working with at-risk youth in inner-city New York.

“For the past three years [she has also] worked with Odyssey House as poetry/performance programme coordinator, teacher, and mentor.”

Ms Bean said Chewstick first came in contact with the artist when she took part in an event organised by Bermudian poet and author, Ms Townsend, in 2009.

Since then, they have kept in contact with Ms Monet and were able to coordinate their schedules so she could come back to the Island.

The well-known poet will also be one of the guest facilitators at The Chewstick Foundation’s Summer Retreat, taking place on Paget Island from Friday until Sunday.

The retreat is described as an “empowering, transformative and fun learning experience” and is a great way for people to connect with one another and learn, while breathing in the natural beauty of Bermuda.

“Participants are invited to not only take part in workshops, which range from knitting and African Mask making to poetry and song writing, salsa dance and more,” Ms Bean said.

“But they are also invited to lead a gathering on a particular passion of theirs, all with the backdrop of beautiful Paget Island and all the fun summer traditions that herald the start of summer.”

For those who can’t make the weekend retreat, Ms Monet will host a poetry workshop on Sunday at 6pm.

Participation in the Sunday evening workshop is $20 or $15 for retreat participants; while tonight’s show will cost $15 at the door.

For more information on the retreat or workshop, call 292-2439 or e-mail info@chewstick.org.

Useful website: visit www.chewstick.org.

Poet Aja Monet
US poet Aja Monet

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Published June 27, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm)

Talented US poet to grace Chewstick stage

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