Word On The Street Halifax is one of many festivals that contribute significantly to the economic wealth of Nova Scotia. We do more than place writers on stage. We proudly host some of the finest talent in Canadian literature, with a strong focus on Atlantic Canada. This year we celebrate our 25th anniversary. Save the date and join in the celebrations!
Through prose and poetry, Guyleigh Johnson tells the story of sixteen-year-old Kahlua Thomas. An absent father and an alcoholic mother leave Kahlua feeling neglected, but her real pain stems from being black. She finds it hard surviving in a poor neighbourhood and even tougher society. Trapped by her own insecurities, she cannot relate to the person in the mirror. She believes that if she doesn’t acknowledge her thick hair, big lips, and dark skin maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to blend in. Yet the lack of diversity, equality, and heritage in her world makes her more intrigued about the black roots she tries to stray away from. With a hard life at home, on the streets, and in school, she finds an escape during her grade ten history class through writing poetry. Hiding in the back of the class, she writes, passionately expressing and releasing emotions about identity, home, community, culture, and forgiveness. All Kahlua wants is freedom, whatever that really means.
Guyleigh Johnson is a 25-year-old spoken word artist/creative writer from North-end Dartmouth. Using writing as an outlet Johnson believes words play a huge role in the process of healing. One of her favourite quotes is “Hurt people Help people” showcasing the importance of storytelling. In October 2017 she released her first collection of poetry titled “Expect the Unexpected” based on inner-city youth and the challenges they not only face but overcome. She is currently taking classes at Dalhousie University with the hopes of obtaining a degree in Journalism, Psychology or Social Work. A community advocate, volunteering/speaking at various community organizations, events and meetings Johnson wishes to encourage youth to see their true potential, and to step out of their comfort zone. Whether you see her on Youtube, Facebook or her own personal webpage she’s starting the conversation for change. Living in a fast-paced generation that is losing the gift of being thoughtful last year she started her own business “Guyleigh’s Greeting Cards” that specializes in “personalizing the moment while creating memories”. Her intent is simple, she always wants to be impactful understanding how important it is to not only give back but to reach back and help another person up.