transVersing: a small book of poetry and drama by trans youth

This is an interesting little book that came out of a project by Love of Learning, a St. John’s charity that provides at-risk youth with arts based training. The first half is a collection of poems and essays by six trans and non-binary youth that reflect their personal experiences. These pieces were then crafted into a play by Director Berni Stapleton and Assistant Director Sharon King-Campbell which constitutes the book’s second half. The play was performed by the young authors at the Barbara Barrett Theatre in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

TransVersing-smallThis must have been a rewarding experience for all involved. Poetry has a way of cutting to the core of one’s emotional experiences. While the individual contributions express the impact of bullying and alienation, there is also a sense of longing and discovery here that balance out the collection. It’s a credit to the playwrights that they stitched these disparate texts into a cohesive whole with some effective transition pieces that maintain continuity. It’s a Samuel Beckett-like play that I could easily visualize being staged. I could also see this being performed by trans youth anywhere.

Cheers to St. John’s activist and the Executive Director of Love of Learning Gemma Hickey for initiating such a worthwhile project, and St. John’s publisher Breakwater Books for turning it into a book. Trans youth need only opportunity to display their creativity.