Feb 29, 2024 (Zoom): Black History Month with Ian Keteku

Join the League of Canadian Poets to celebrate Black History Month with LCP Spoken Word Award-winner Ian Keteku and Halifax Youth Poets Laureate Asiah Sparks and Damini Awoyiga! The evening will include a performances and an open mic segment.

Open mic signup will be first come, first served, and take place at the start of the event. While we encourage all poetry-lovers to join us for this event, the open mic is reserved for Black poets.

February 29, 2024 | 7pm EST/8pm AST

Ian Keteku, winner of the LCP Spoken Word Award


Ian Keteku is an award-winning poet and multimedia artist. He is a national slam champion, and the 2010 World Poetry Slam Champion. In 2016, Keteku was awarded the Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Keteku's art extends beyond poetry, as a writer and director, where he produces thought-provoking films and empowers people of all ages to embrace the power of their own voices. He has written and directed projects for TVO, CBC, PBS, Crave and Sesame Street. Keteku’s work is strongly influenced by journeys throughout Africa. His work follows in the lineage of ancient African storytellers by paying homage to the past and revisiting themes and lessons from previous generations. He has released two spoken word albums Lessons From Planet Earth (2011) and Love and Lumumba (2015). His debut collection of poetry Black Abacus was published in 2019 by Write Bloody North. Keteku teaches art-activism and creative writing at OCAD University in Toronto.

2023-2024 Municipal Youth Poet Laureate, Asiah Sparks

Asiah Sparks
Municipal Youth Poet Laureate, 2023-2024

Asiah Sparks is 19 years old and is a writer, storyteller, spoken word artist and activist. Through her work, Asiah aims to cultivate a sense of community and inclusion. Asiah is an African Nova Scotian teenager currently living in Dartmouth and stemming from the historically Black community of Lake Loon/Cherry Brook. Using poetry as a mode of expression to deal with and convey their feelings, Asiah writes that they found poetry while "aimlessly wandering" and now write to connect with communities and youth specifically who might feel like odds are stacked against them. In addition to being Halifax’s first Youth Poet Laureate, her past accomplishments include Provincial Volunteer of the Year Award and HRM Volunteer of the year Award in 2022.

2023-2024 Municipal Youth Poet Laureate, Damini Awoyiga

Damini Awoyiga
Municipal Youth Poet Laureate, 2023-2024

Dáminí Awóyígà is a 16 yearold high school student. She is an activist, spoken word poet and Halifax’s Youth Poet Laureate. Damini is the founder of Damini Creatives and the Afro-Indigenous Book Club, a book club created to encourage young people to read books written by Black and Indigenous authors and to share the realities and experiences of Black and Indigenous Canadians. Damini was the artist-in-residence for the 2022 Michaelle Jean Foundation’s Canadian Black Summit. She is a youth freelance journalist for CBC's Mainstreet. She is the Vice-Chair of CPA High School’s Black Student Association. Damini has enjoyed being a board member of the Nova Scotia Girls Institute for Resource and Learning (NS GIRL), she is also part of the HRM Youth Advisory Council. Damini has received multiple awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. As a spoken word poet for over five years, Damini loves to write, sing, and perform poems that bring attention to social justice issues.

Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the legacy of Black people in Canada and their communities.

The 2024 theme for Black History Month is: “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build”. This theme celebrates the rich past and present contributions and accomplishments of Black people in Canada, while aspiring to embrace new opportunities for the future.

The theme aligns with the 10th year of the International Decade for People of African Descent and recognizes that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.

Black History Month #BHM2024