US Poetry Slam Champion Johnson Visits Island

October 1, 2019

Three-time national US poetry slam champion Javon Johnson is to spoken word verse what Rupi Kaur, Ocean Vuong and Kei Miller are to the contemporary written variety: an innovator and a game-changer.

The Bermuda College Literary Society [BCLS] is hosting a visit to the island by the widely acclaimed spoken word artist and assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“The aim of the BCLS is to raise the literary consciousness of our island community,” said a spokesperson. “So we are hosting several sessions with Javon Johnson with this in mind:”

Javon Johnson September 2019

Sessions for Bermuda College students, faculty and local teachers are being held today [Oct 1].

“We have a session geared towards our island’s high school students on Wednesday [Oct 2] at 2:00-3:15 p.m.,” said the spokesperson. “We also want to take this literary experience to those students, writers and poets at Westgate Correctional Facility. This session is scheduled for Wednesday morning.”

Javon Johnson has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, BET’s Lyric Café, TVOne’s Verses & Flow, The Arsenio Hall Show, and The Steve Harvey Show.

He also co-wrote the Showtime documentary Crossover.

In 2017 Rutgers University Press published his book Killing Poetry: Blackness and the Making of Slam and Spoken Word Communities, and in 2018 he co-edited the poetry collection End of Chiraq: A Literary Mixtape, which was published by Northwestern University Press.

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