Indigenous poet Zoey Roy's spoken word poetry confronts bullies and inspires hope

The poet and community-based educator channels the voices of the students she teaches in order to work toward making the world a better place.

'If we do not address the bully, we will not change the problem'

Zoey Roy. (CBC Arts)

As a young teenager, Zoey Roy left home and lived on the streets. She was angry and defiant. She was full of emotions she didn't know how to express. But this was also the period of time that led her to hip hop, which she discovered could work as a release and which became instrumental to her career as a poet and activist.

Now, she's steadily building a large audience and considerable acclaim — and taking her spoken word poetry on tour.

Watch the video:

Zoey Roy's spoken-word poetry


3 years ago
"If we do not address the bully, we will not change the problem" - Zoey Roy on the need for bravery in poetry 3:58

In the above video, you'll see Roy at work in the classroom, where she empowers kids with her message and her poetry-writing tools. And you'll find out that her soft and humble offstage demeanour quite quickly translates into onstage power and emotion.

Zoey Roy. (CBC Arts)

Zoey Roy is currently finishing her Master's degree and has begun working with playwright Curtis Peeteetuce to create a show to take on tour in 2019.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.


Adrian Halter is a Saskatchewan-based filmmaker whose dramatic projects have screened internationally. His documentary work has aired across Canada. He currently resides in Regina with his wife and their two children.