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My name is Matthew Johnston.

Born and raised on the island of Bermuda.

I have been passionate about writing poetry since about 2009 when I started to become serious about the art form during my last year of high school. That year was capped off with winning my first poetry competition at school and being introduced to a youth poetry program called TWIGS (True Wisdom in Growing Souls) run by a local charity called the Chewstick Foundation. This program led me to try my hand at performing and I quickly began to build a reputation as a performer and spoken word artist.

In 2012, after my first year of university at Penn State, I was a part of Bermuda’s first-ever poetry slam team that went to the Bay Area to participate in the Brave New Voices youth poetry festival that is run annually by Youth Speaks. The team was the product of the Chewstick Foundation’s youth poetry program which was then named ChewSlam. This was major in my growth as a writer and performer as it opened me up to the poetry community internationally and excited me about the possibilities of poetry. After returning from Brave New Voices, I completed one more semester of university before taking a break due to financial difficulties.

Upon returning to Bermuda, I began helping to workshop the participants in the ChewSlam program as I had aged out. I worked along with my former slam coach and mentor to prepare the participants to return to Brave New Voices. I assumed the position as a co-coach and co-facilitator of the program and awakened a passion for teaching which was integral to my current goal to become an English teacher. To achieve this goal, I am currently completing a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education at Temple University.

I continue to refine my craft and accomplish things within the poetry field. I am the current president and artistic director of Temple University’s Babel Poetry Collective. I have performed at a number of events in Bermuda and in Philadelphia and was the winner of the Albert J Caplan poetry award to earn my first publication on through the Academy of American Poets. I look forward to getting more work published and to keep getting the opportunity to share my work through performing.