Spoken word artist Wynter Storm brings message of unity, healing to Ogden
Utah poet and published author Wynter Storm is bringing positive change to the Utah community through the power of words.
In 2020, Storm co-founded the organization UBLAC, the Utah Black Artists Collective. According to its website, UBLAC has a mission to inspire the Black community “through voices of diversity, amplifying the cultural presence of Utah’s vibrant and talented Black artists, musicians, performers, poets, authors, dancers, and creatives of any kind.” UBLAC also has a youth mentorship program that seeks to educate and inspire Black youth as well as support up-and-coming artists.
“I meant it when I said I am committed to making a change in our community, and making this a more inclusive and safe space for everyone,” says Storm. “UBLAC helps to uplift those artists who have not had a platform, and we partner with organizations to make spaces and festivals in our state more diverse and inclusive.”
According to Storm, UBLAC has several other programs for the community as well. Currently, there are 35-plus Black professional artists who are doing the work for change. “UBLAC was a step towards rewriting our realities; I am looking forward to the rest of the journey,” says Storm.
Storm started her journey as a poet at the young age of 8. “The first time I heard a Maya Angelou poem read out loud, I knew that I wanted my words to flow like that one day,” she says. Storm’s first poem, titled “Rainbows,” was published that year at her elementary school. Afterward, she began writing and exploring dictionaries, feasting on words as most of us writers do. Poetry writing was a secret Storm kept through most of middle school and high school, reading them only to her closest cousins, who always encouraged her to keep writing. “I cannot thank them enough for encouraging me when no one else even knew,” says Storm.
Storm’s inspirations evolved throughout the years, from young love to coming out and embracing her sexuality, then “writing herself better” through a series of “I Am” poems. In 2017, Storm experienced a number of traumas ranging from health problems, a very bad breakup and racism. Due to surgery, “I couldn’t physically play the drums, so all I literally had was writing. I started writing, and my words sounded much different from 19-year-old me,” she says.
She found inspiration from Ebony Stewart and decided the best way to follow her dreams and spread her message was through Open Mic nights. “I wrote from fear and hurt, yet my poems were so strong,” she says. Storm joined and toured with the SLC Slam team soon after.
Thursday night at Unspoken Bar on Historic 25th Street, Storm will emcee Ogden’s first Speak-Easy Poetry & Mixed Media Jam. She will be sharing her poem titled “Dear Women.”
“It’s an encouraging piece dedicated to women, and it is definitely needed right now,” she says. If she has time, Storm will share her poem “Revolutionary Dreamer.” “It talks about all of us becoming one, becoming the beloved community.” That is the mission and message Storm is hoping to spread.
“Music and Poetry are healing,” reads her biography, “and that is her personal mission; to help heal our land one new moment at a time.”
For more information, visit UBLAC.org and find Wynter on social media on Instagram (@wynter_storm1), Facebook (@wynterpoetry) and Twitter (@WynterThePoet).