YOUTH! Word!

Host: Jillian Christmas

Grades: 8-12 and Adults

YOUTH! Word!

Thursday, Oct 22
Live on YouTube

If you weren’t able to tune in live, click here to watch the recording.

Every year we share in this program guide that Word! is one of our first events to sell out. And every year it does—in our biggest theatre, with at least two versions of the event running. Why? Likely it’s the magnetic energy that the artists bring to their spoken word poetry: inciting and igniting young imaginations. This year is no different thanks to our long-time Spoken Word Curator, award-winning slam poet and artist, Jillian Christmas. She performs alongside NASRA, a queer, Muslim, Oromo creator who has won—amongst other accolades—the Edmonton Mayor’s Emerging Artist award. Truth is … is an accomplished slam poet and director of Guelph Youth Poetry Slam (Sound Off). Lishai Peel is a poet, writer and theatre workshop facilitator with a stream of credits to her name, most recently her manuscript, Motherhood & Other Mishaps. If all the world’s a stage, these poets demonstrate why.

Event Participants:

Nasra Adem


NASRA ADEM is a queer, Muslim, Oromo curator/creator living in Amiskwaciwȃskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 territory. They were the Youth Poet Laureate of Edmonton from 2016 to 2017 and are currently the Director of Sister to Sister, an artistic showcase for/by femmes and women of colour. They are also the Festival Director of Black Arts Matter—Alberta’s interdisciplinary Black arts festival—and were the 2017 recipient of the Mayor’s Emerging Artist award.

Jillian Christmas

British Columbia

JILLIAN CHRISTMAS is a queer, afro-caribbean writer living on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam people (Vancouver, BC), where she works as Speaker Coordinator at Cicely Blain Consulting, and served for six years as artistic director of Verses Festival of Words. She has won numerous Grand Poetry Slam Championship titles and represented both Toronto and Vancouver at eleven national poetry events, notably breaking ground as the first Canadian to perform on the final stage of the Women of the World Poetry Slam.

Truth Is …


TRUTH IS … a poet, a writer, a motivational speaker & an arts educator. In addition to Slam and a long list of feature performances across Canada and the US, Truth Is … has headlined in several conferences focused on social equity, gender equity, youth motivation and labour. She has also opened up for Canadian Hip-Hop idol K-OS & legendary activist Angela Davis.

Lishai Peel


LISHAI PEEL is a writer and educator currently based in Hamilton. For the last decade, she has designed and facilitated theatre and writing workshops in schools throughout Toronto, working extensively with The Toronto Public Library and The Toronto Public School Board. Her creative nonfiction won first place in The Malahat Review’s 2019 open season awards and her poetry came second place in The Vancouver Writers Fest Annual Contest in 2017. Her work has also been shortlisted for The Puritan Poetry Prize and Room magazine’s Creative Nonfiction and Short Forms Contest.