Hispanic Writers Week came to the South End Library last Tuesday and treated the small but enthusiastic audience to a delicious and spirited performance by the IBA Youth Poetry Slam Team of a group poem called How to Lose Your Culture in Ten Steps. According to Amanda Torres, Program Coordinator at IBA, the students are part of the organization's Spoken Word Theater troupe where, under the guidance of Anthony Febo, they have been working extra hours to take part in this years Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB) Massachusetts Youth Poetry Slam Festival. Group poems encourage collaboration and multiple youth voices, explained Torres in an email. In How to Lose Your Culture in Ten Steps, the four students, Ki’ Shayla Fonfield, Heidi Petion, Kimberly Cajuste and Jonathan Mendoza described the conflicts and pressures of growing up as immigrants in the US, trying to reconcile assimilation, loss of culture and the importance of holding tight to your cultural roots.
The IBA Youth Poetry Slam Team will be competing in the third annual Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) Massachusetts Youth Poetry Slam Festival this week. The Finals Showcase is Thursday, May 15, from 6 to 9 PM at the BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave. Tickets are required. For more information on LTAB, visit www.massleapcollective.org/LTAB. Last year's festival was covered in this article by the Boston Globe.