Youth Poetry Slam Workshop

We are so excited to be working with Peterborough Poetry Slam! 

Thanks to funding provided by the The City of Peterborough we will be co-hosting 4 workshops with Wes Ryan, EJ, Jon Hedderwick, & Ziy von B where youth can explore their voice, expand their writing, and express their creativity.

Join us at The Whistle Stop Cafe at 6:00pm – 8:00 pm every Tuesday starting October 9 – October 30th.

Four incredible folks will be running these workshops and we’d like you to get to know them a little.

Wes Ryan is a genre-mashing performer, playwright, spoken word artist, workshop facilitator, and aspiring academic living in Nogojiwanong / Peterborough. In 2007, Wes experienced a sudden attack of gravity and acquired traumatic brain injury. The following spring, he performed a duet with his helmet. In 2017, Wes launched These are Horizon Days, an integrated performance arts company with the belief that it is through our shared narratives that we stitch together niches of resilience into tapestries for change.


EJ is a poet, journalist, spoken word artist, and activist based in Peterborough. She stepped onto the stage in 2016, making an impression in the local and national scenes. Her work strives to find beauty in the broken by embracing the hard edges. She explores personal traumas, love, and her Belizean heritage, shedding light on the state of race, gender, and class struggles in Canada. EJ has competed and performed nationally, co-organized the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word 2017, and completed her first chap book, “romantic and horrible.” She contributes to Electric City Magazine and Black Lives Matter Peterborough.

Jon is a poet, community advocate, film producer, organizer, and educator of Ashkenazi Jewish and Scottish heritage. A disciple of Scooby-doo and an ardent wanderer, his poetry reaches for those things just beyond language in hopes of giving emotional content to abstract ideas. He performs and facilitates workshops across the country. Jon organizes and mentors with the Peterborough Poetry Slam Collective and directed the 2017 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. He spends as much time as possible tending to his gardens with his family or wandering aimlessly through the woods looking for feathers, stones, and other wondrous things.

With family lines stemming from Jewish communities in Poland and Lithuania, Ziy is grateful to be parenting andpoeting here on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe territory. It is said that Ziy was already speaking as they emerged from the birth canal; they have been wordsmithing ever since. Ziy has performed, competed, and facilitated spoken word workshops across Turtle Island. Ziy has self-published two chapbooks, and their writing has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. As an artist and community organizer, Ziy is committed to transformation and healing through social justice, queer consciousness, and decolonization.