Bow Seat Launches New Spoken Word Initiative in Partnership with Poet Tayllor JohnsonFebruary 1, 2021
As the Ocean Awareness Contest has grown over the years, participating young artists have continued to push the boundaries in ways that have intrigued and moved us. In response to the growing number of spoken word poems being submitted to the Contest, Bow Seat is thrilled to partner with New York City poet, activist, and educator Tayllor Johnson to launch the Voice of the Sea Award. This new initiative invites students ages 11-18 from around the world to participate in the 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest by sharing their stories and speaking out for our blue planet through a powerful mode of expression: spoken word.
The Voice of the Sea Award will recognize two spoken word poetry submissions to the 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest: one $1,000 award for a Junior submission (age 11-14), and one $1,500 award for a Senior submission (age 15-18). The deadline for entries is June 14, 2021, and they must follow the requirements for submitting to the Contest’s Poetry & Spoken Word category.
As part of the initiative, Tayllor Johnson will collaborate with Bow Seat to offer accompanying programming to educate students about spoken word as a performance art—including webinars, workshops, live Instagram sessions, and blogs—and contribute to outreach and judging. A published poet, Tayllor has been writing and performing her own poetry and plays for more than a decade. She recently received her Master’s in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, which she will use to bring conscious performance poetry curriculum into educational communities.
“As a poet myself, I have always appreciated poetry as one of the most compelling and beautiful ways to share ideas and evoke emotions, and after viewing more and more students’ spoken word submissions to the Contest, I began to recognize how performance poetry has a unique and distinct place with roots in oral traditions and theatre,” said Linda Cabot, founder and president of Bow Seat.
“I am so excited to partner with Tayllor to celebrate this art form through our Voice of the Sea Award, and to provide students with a stage to share their diverse water stories and the need to protect a resource that connects us all.”
“I am thrilled to be partnering with Bow Seat to promote and celebrate the Voice of the Sea Award,” said Tayllor Johnson. “Spoken word poetry saved my life and gave me a voice to not only speak up for myself but also for the things I believe in. No youth should ever feel that they are powerless to enact change, so I am honored to have an opportunity to encourage them to be the change through spoken word.”