This is a poem about reaching past a locked gate, a secured fence, our own
closed hearts, and knowing, we cannot stop the songs of migratory birds,
or keep a Monarch caterpillar from reaching for the milkweed,
we cannot wrestle bones away from wolves,
or stop the earth from being eclipsed

Pluma Sumaq 
excerpt from You Especially

Image by Baby Babylon

Humble Beginnings

Carrying the sounds of hundreds of ancestor poets, learning from pages, words, and the digging into a community of cycle disruptors, emancipators, visionaries – pen carriers desperate to free out the truth, a group of young poets began nurturing their craft over Webex.

Intrigued by balloons that flame, Balloons That Flame is an exhibition of a group of youth artists that have come together to celebrate their power as poets! This diverse collective of intuitive and innovative multidisciplinary artists, just like a hot air balloon are on the rise.

This exhibition embraces ideas of home, finding our way back to ourselves, claiming our power, and as a group, figure out what it means to release the past and make new marks through word. To get back in touch with our language, and as poet Cass Myers says “go into the grey”… gently.

Anahita Monafred calls the Flaming Balloon group “a youth collective of cycle breaking, truth seeking, audacious poets and musicians.” Or Peace Akindate says, “I imagine the flaming balloon collective will branch out to include more youths. The collective will be another prominent outlet for youths to raise their voices. Their voices will be filled with art and wonder. The kind of wonder that only happens when youth artists are given an opportunity.”

Poets featured in this exhibition include: Majin Buuty, Baby Babylon, Anahita Monfared, Saliska Sun, Lafi, Nhylar, Candice Joy, Divyanshi Dash, Mo, Danielle Rozali, Maisha Haque, Tess Segal, Lu Godfrey, Yasmin Kerikar, Peace Akintade, Divyanshi Dash, Hailey Orrange, Alex Masse, Ella Nguyen and Meghan Romano.

These poets worked and played under the mentorship of Poet-In-Residence, Angelic Proof and Anjalica Solomon, as well with guest mentorship by Turunesh, Oatmeal Queen, Tawahum Bige, Cass Myers, Brandon Wint and Josh Eastman.

We want to thank and acknowledge the generous support of Art Starts, the Ignite Youth Festival, the League of Canadian Poets, and the Cultch, with whom this work was able to shine forth.

Balloons that Flame Exhibition

Chapbook

Cultch Video

Gratitude For The Process

With gratitude for the process of poetry creation, media-making and lighting up balloons in the sky.