Sierra DeMulder, a slam poet, recited her writings on behalf of To Write Love On Her Arms in Lee 301 at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 7.
TWLOHA found videos of DeMulder reading her poems and invited her to come to speak to campus. DeMulder started writing and has continued to write poems based on her personal experiences in life and with her past battle with depression, which prompted the UNH Chapter to invite her.
Stefanie Perillo, President of the UNH Chapter, said that TWLOHA is a “non profit movement dedicated to providing hope and help for those suffering from depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health issues.”
TWLOHA was nationally established in 2006. UNH established a university chapter in fall of 2012, and was officially named as one in spring of 2013. Since then, Perillo said that they “helped open the conversation of the stigma of mental illness and helped break it.”
Their e-board secretary found videos of DeMulder’s poems and everyone was touched by them.
“We embody the mission of TWLOHA (a non-profit movement dedicated to providing hope and help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide) through organized meetings and events; our University Chapter serves as a voice of inspiration and support for students and their surrounding communities,” said Jacqueline Guzman TWLOHA Executive Assistant.
TWLOHA believes in community, in the idea that people need other people; we were never meant to go through life alone. So, “by having DeMulder here, sharing her story, she helped us move toward breaking the stigma that surrounds mental illness; she encouraged other people to share their stories and realize that they matter and are part of a bigger community of people who care.”
The TWLOHA website has a list of affiliated speakers that can visit schools and organizations, and DeMulder is the one they chose.
DeMulder is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion and is currently on tour to share her poetry.
Before finding her passion for spoken word, she went to college for Art Therapy. After she started slamming her poetry, people have mentioned to her that there were videos of her and her poetry on YouTube. She dreaded the spread of the videos until she started receiving messages from viewers saying that her poems have helped them gain the strength to start healing and recovering; in turn, hearing this helped her heal from depression.
She now has two books of her poetry published and is currently working on a novel and a young adult novel.
DeMulder has collaborated with several poets in her lifetime, especially for group poems at nationals. She loves editing both her own work and other poets’ works.
For those wanting to express their writing verbally, she recommends going to open mic events to meet new people and share ideas.
TWLOHA meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Dodds 205 with different topics to discuss every month.
DeMulder can be found on several social media sites, such as Tumblr and Facebook. Buttonpoetry.com also has many videos of DeMulder and other great poets.