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Poetry Reading at the Teen Library

Poetry reading in partnership with the Telling RoomTo celebrate Poetry Month, join us at the Teen Library for a poetry reading in partnership with The Telling Room! Portland’s Poet Laureate Maya Williams will be joined for the reading by teen poets Calla James and Kaya Sylvester.

WHERE: Teen Library (Downtown Branch)
WHEN: Monday, April 24th | 3:30—4:30 PM
AUDIENCE: Teens (middle school or high school or ages 12 to 19)

Calla James (they/them) is a poet from Brunswick, Maine. They have been writing poetry since they could write their letters, and are currently working with the Telling Room to publish their first collection of poetry, to be released in August 2023. They love using their time spent outside to process their time spent inside and the people who come through the door with them. Their poetry has been honored with a Gold Key from the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. They are nearing the end of high school and are excited to focus on writing cool poetry in college.

Kaya Sylvester (she/her) is a senior at Casco Bay High School. She moved to Maine less than two years ago after growing up in the jungle of Costa Rica. She loves the sun and being outside whenever she can. She is super excited to step out of her comfort zone and share her writing.

Maya Williams (ey/they/she) is a Black Mixed Race queer nonbinary person, suicide survivor, and poet residing in Portland, Maine. They currently serve as MaineTransNet’s Sexual Assault Program Coordinator, where they develop peer support groups for trans survivors and educational material on trauma informed trans competency for advocates. They also serve as co-host of the video series Dying/Laughing, which analyzes the representation of suicide and mental health in TV and film. Maya has published poetry in glitterMOBOcculumThe Portland Press Herald, Littoral Books, FreezeRay, and more. Ey has received residencies from organizations such as Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA), Voices of Our Nation Arts (VONA) Foundation, The For Us by Us Fund’s Words of Fire Retreat, and Hewnoaks Artist Colony. She is a Maine Writers and Publishers Association (MWPA) Chapbook finalist, a Best of the Net Nominee, and a winner of PortFringe’s Patron’s Choice Award for her spoken word performance “When Speaking to an Extraterrestrial.” You can see Maya as one of the three selected artists of color to represent Maine in The Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America series, hosting open mics Tuesdays for Port Veritas, and facilitating writing workshops for Quill Books & Beverage Sundays.