All Speakers

  • Angelo Geter

    Poet, Educator, Performance Artist, Activist

    Angelo Geter
    entertains and inspires. He currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Rock Hill, SC, and is a 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Geter is also a 2019 All-America city winner, 2018 National Poetry Slam champion, Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam finalist, Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam finalist and has performed and competed in several venues across the country. His work has appeared on All Def Poetry, Charleston Currents, and the Academy of American Poets “Poem a Day” series.Angelo ‘Eyeambic’ Geter (he / him) is a dynamic poet, spoken word artist and motivational speaker who merges his passions for poetry and speaking into a unique performance that educates,
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  • Aricka Foreman

    Poet, Writer, Artist

    Aricka Foreman
    earned fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Offing, and spends her time in Chicago, IL engaging poetry with photography & video.Aricka Foreman (she / her) is an American poet and interdisciplinary writer from Detroit MI. Author of the chapbook Dream with a Glass Chamber, and Salt Body Shimmer (YesYes Books), she has
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  • Ashley
    Rose

    Poet, Playwright, Actress, Activist

    Ashley Rose
    Currently she works at Suffolk University as a Restorative Justice Specialist and Race Relations Liason for the institution and clients around the nation.Ashley Rose (she / her) is an award winning poet, playwright, actress and educator. For over 15 years she has used her art and activism background to create community and hold space for healing.
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  • Asiyah Herrera

    Poet, Teaching Artist, Editor

    Asiyah Herrera
    Art Review with her piece “Making space for Gen Z.” Currently she works as the Teaching Artist for the Youth Literary Advisory Board at 826 Boston, a nonprofit writing and tutoring organization.Asiyah Herrera (she / her) is 19 years. Last year, she was a finalist for the Boston Youth Poet Laureate position. This year, she became the youngest author to be published in the Boston
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  • Askia Toure

    Leading voice of the Black Arts Movement

    Askia Toure
    by creating a triumphal identity for the purpose of uplifting the African heritage beyond the oppressive ideas that dominated the time.Askia Muhammad Touré (he / him) is an African-American poet, essayist, political editor, and leading voice of the Black Arts Movement. Toure helped to define a new generation of black consciousness
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  • Candace McDuffie

    Journalist, Writer, Cultural Critic

    Candace McDuffie
    digital platforms such as Rolling Stone, MTV, Forbes, PAPER, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, NBC News and Newsweek. Candace’s first book,50 Rappers Who Changed The World, is out now wherever books are sold.Candace McDuffie (she / her) is a respected cultural critic and music journalist who focuses on the intersection of race, gender and entertainment. Her written work has been featured on
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  • Chen Chen

    Poet, Writer

    Chen Chen
    the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The collection was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and named one of the best of 2017 by The Brooklyn Rail, Entropy, Library Journal, and others. His work has appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Tin House, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Chen earned his MFA from Syracuse University and is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing as an off-site Texas Tech University student. He lives in frequently snowy Rochester, NY with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog, Mr. Rupert Giles.Chen Chen (he / him) is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize,
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  • Crystal Valentine

    Writer, Performer, Anime Enthusiast

    Crystal Valentine
    time winner of the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Anthology (Haymarket Books), Muzzle Magazine, TriQuarterly Magazine, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. She received an MFA from New York University and is the current festival manager for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. When she isn’t writing or agonizing over line breaks, you can find her watching anime and dreaming.Crystal Valentine (she / her) is a queer, Black woman from the Bronx now residing in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a Callaloo fellow, a former NYC Youth Poet Laureate, and a two-
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  • Denice Frohman

    Poet, Educator, Activist

    Denice Frohman
    Arts & Cultures, Leeway Foundation, Millay Colony and Blue Mountain Center.
    Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNext, Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, ESPNW and elsewhere. A former Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion, she’s featured on hundreds of stages from The White House to The Apollo, and co-organized #PoetsforPuertoRico. She lives in Philadelphia.Denice Frohman (she / her) is a poet, performer and educator from New York City. A CantoMundo Fellow, she’s received residencies and awards from the National Association of Latino
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  • Diannely Antigua

    Little Poet, Big Hair

    Diannely Antigua
    River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award. She received her BA in English from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and her MFA at NYU.Diannely Antigua (she / her) is a Dominican American poet and educator, born and raised in Massachusetts. Her debut collection Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019) was the winner of the Pamet
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  • Ekua Holmes

    Artist, Designer, Illustrator

    Ekua Holmes
    of hope, faith and self-determination. Ms. Holmes serves as Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Boston Art Commission, which oversees the placement and maintenance of public works of art on and in city of Boston properties. Ekua Holmes is currently the Assistant Director at the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at MassArt where she manages and coordinates sparc! the ArtMobile, an art-inspiring, art-transforming vehicle retrofitted to contribute to community based, multidisciplinary arts programming currently focused in the Boston neighborhoods of Mission Hill, Roxbury and Dorchester, MA. Holmes is the founder and lead artist of the Roxbury Sunflower Project.Ekua Holmes’ (she / her) work is collage based and her subjects, made from cut and torn papers, investigate family histories, relationship dynamics, childhood impressions, the power
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  • Fulani Haynes

    Musician, Performer, Chef

    Fulani Haynes
    and theatrical experience has given Fulani a rich foundation to draw upon in performances and collaborations with noted recording artists like Frank Wilkins, Patricia Adams, Hakim Law, and Mike Shea, and in performances for regular folks and nonprofit organizations in her own community.Fulani Haynes (she / her) has electrified audiences in clubs, cabarets, theaters, and other performance venues in the Boston area for more than four decades. Her depth of musical
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  • George Abraham

    Palestinian Diasporic Poet, Educator, Engineer

    George Abraham
    Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Poetry,and the Big Other Book Award. He is a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and The Boston Foundation, and winner of the 2017 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational's Best Poet title. Their work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Baffler, The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, Mizna, and elsewhere. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard University, Abraham currently teaches at Emerson College, and will be a Litowitz MA+MFA Candidate at Northwestern University in the fall.George Abraham (they / them) is a Palestinian american poet, writer, and engineer from Jacksonville, FL. Their debut poetry collection Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020) was a finalist for the
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  • Harlym 125

    Educator, Poet, Performer

    Harlym125
    of the Boston area poetry scene and joined teams of poets who have won numerous competitions regionally and nationally. 125 has also become well known in the Boston area for his work leading workshops dealing with issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Several times in the last couple of years, Harlym has been called to local high schools, colleges and communities to help bring a calm and constructive unity after incidents of racial injustice have occurred. Known for his work, Harlym 1Two5 is often asked to be a panelist or to give presentations on a broad range of topics regarding diversity and pluralism, and also is asked to prepare presentations in response to very specific incidents or conditions. Appearing at dozens of college campuses every year. He is the "HUMAN HIGHLIGHT OF POETRY AND EDU-ACTIVISM."1Two5 (he / him) remains well known nationally and in multitudes poetry circles. Known as Harlym 125, He is a frequent and highly regarded figure in competitions, performance, concert and beyond. 125 has become a part
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  • Janice Lobo Sapigao

    Poet, Professor, Editor

    Janice Lobo Sapigao
    California, San Diego. She is the author of like a solid to a shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light/ Nightboat Books, 2017) and microchips for millions (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2016). A VONA/Voices Fellow, Sapigao was awarded a Manuel G. Flores Prize PAWA Scholarship to the Kundiman Poetry Retreat and was named one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Women to Watch in 2017. She is a poetry editor at Angel City Review and a co-founder of Sunday Jump, an open mic in Los Angeles. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Skyline College and the poet laureate of Santa Clara County, California.Janice Lobo Sapigao (she / her) was born and raised in San José, California. She received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of
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  • Jericho Brown

    Poet, Educator

    Jericho Brown
    University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.Jericho Brown (he / him) is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard
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  • Jill McDonough

    Poet, Professor

    Jill McDonough
    2019). She teaches in the MFA program at UMass-Boston and offers College Reading and Writing in Boston jails.Three-time Pushcart prize winner Jill McDonough (she / her) is the recipient of Lannan, NEA, Cullman Center, and Stegner fellowships. Her most recent book is Here All Night (Alice James,
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  • Jonathan Mendoza

    Organizer, Poet, Educator

    Jonathan Mendoza
    Sonia Sanchez – Langston Hughes Poetry Prize, and a three-time award winner at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. He currently works as a community organizer for housing and youth, a teaching artist, and a freelance writer, performer, and educator throughout the U.S. He is a proud anxious Virgo, Greek yogurt enthusiast, and devout believer in the power of young people to change this world for the better. Books, updates, and more information can be found at @JMendoza010 on Twitter and Instagram.Jonathan Mendoza (he / him) is a Boston-bred, Chicago-based Jewish and Mexican-American activist, poet, and social justice educator. He is a National Poetry Slam Champion, winner of the
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  • Kai Grant

    Entrepreneur, Organizer, Creative

    Kai Grant
    Leaders. She's been awarded citations by the Boston City Council, the Governor of Massachusetts, the Black & Latino Caucus, the NAACP, and a host of local organizations and currently resides on the Board of Directors for the Roxbury Cultural District. Kai resides in the Historic District of Highland Park where she and her husband of 29 years raised their four sons. Kai Grant is the co-founder and program manager at Black Market.Kai Grant's (she / her) family has been in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood for over 100 years as Educators, Entrepreneurs, Political Leaders, Artists, Spiritual Leaders, and Military
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  • Dr. Karilyn Crockett

    Professor, Writer, Researcher

    Karilyn Crockett
    structural poverty and race. Karilyn’s book "People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making" (UMASS Press 2018) investigates a 1960s era grassroots movement to halt urban extension of the U.S. interstate highway system and the geographic and political changes in Boston that resulted. In 2019 this book was named one of the “ten best books of the decade” by the Boston Public Library Association of Librarians. Previously Karilyn co-founded Multicultural Youth Tour of What's Now (MYTOWN), an award winning, Boston-based, educational non-profit organization. MYTOWN hired public high school students to research their local and family histories to produce youth-led walking tours for sale to public audiences. During its nearly 15 years of operation, MYTOWN created jobs for more than 300 low and moderate-income teenagers, who in turn led public walking tours for more than 14,000 visitors and residents. In a White House ceremony, the National Endowment for the Humanities cited MYTOWN as “One of ten best Youth Humanities Programs in America.” Karilyn holds a PhD from the American Studies program at Yale University, a Master of Science in Geography from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School. Karilyn served for four years with the Mayor's Office of Economic Development as the Director of Economic Policy & Research and the Director of Small Business Development for the City of Boston. She recently completed her service as the City of Boston's first Chief of Equity, a Cabinet-level position Mayor Walsh established to embed equity and racial justice into all City planning, operations, and work moving forward. She holds a faculty appointment as professor of urban history, public policy and planning in MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning. Karilyn’s career mission is to continue to work at the nexus of education, economic development policy and urban revitalization.Dr. Karilyn Crockett’s (she / her) research focuses on large-scale land use changes in twentieth century American cities and examines the social and geographic implications of
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  • Kristina Marie Darling

    Poet, Editor, Critic

    Kristina Marie Darling
    Conscious Experience, and the Self in Modernist Women’s Poetry (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2021); Silence in Contemporary Poetry, which will be published in hardcover by Clemson University Press in the United States and Liverpool University Press in the United Kingdom; SILENT REFUSAL: Essays on Contemporary Feminist Poetry (Black Ocean, forthcoming); ANGEL OF THE NORTH (Salmon Poetry, forthcoming); and X Marks the Dress: A Registry (co-written with Carol Guess), which will be launched by Persea Books in the United States. Penguin Random House Canada will also publish a Canadian edition. Her work has been recognized with three residencies at Yaddo, where she has held the Martha Walsh Pulver Residency for a Poet and the Howard Moss Residency in Poetry; a Fundación Valparaíso fellowship to live and work in Spain; a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, funded by the Heinz Foundation; an artist-in-residence position at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris; five residencies at the American Academy in Rome; two grants from the Whiting Foundation; a Faber Residency in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, which she received on two separate occasions; an artist-in-residence position with the Andorran Ministry of Culture; and the Dan Liberthson Prize from the Academy of American Poets, which she received on three separate occasions; among many other awards and honors. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press & Tupelo Quarterly.Kristina Marie Darling (she / her) is the author of thirty-five books, which include Look to Your Left: A Feminist Poetics of Spectacle (University of Akron Press, 2021); Stylistic Innovation,
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  • Letta Simone Neely

    Artist, Poet, Activist, Earthling, Parent

    Letta Simone Neely

    Letta Neely (she / her) is a Black Lesbian Earthling. She is the author of two books of poetry and numerous plays. She is a draptomaniac who knows her liberation is tied to yours and vice versa.

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  • Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

    Poet, Writer, Digital Maker

    Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
    Paradise. They currently direct the MFA in Creative Writing at UMass Boston.Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (they / them) is the author of the books Travesty Generator; How Narrow My Escapes; Personal Science; a slice from the cake made of air; and But a Storm is Blowing From
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  • Malcolm Friend

    Is a poet.

    Malcolm Friend
    collection Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple (Inlandia Books, 2018). He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. Together with JR Mahung, he is a member of Black Plantains, an Afrocaribbean poetry collective.Malcolm Friend (he / him) is a poet originally from the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, WA, and the author of the chapbook mxd kd mixtape (Glass Poetry, 2017) and the full-length
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  • Marisa Luse

    Activist, Creative Champion, Founder

    Marisa Luse
    value humanity, breaking down silos that results in system, organizational, and community change, increasing civic engagement and participation, and inspiring others to be courageous leaders and advocates for themselves, their families, and communities. Marisa is the Founder and CEO of The CoLu Group and RAPP Boston. She also serves on several community boards and committees in Roxbury and Boston that focus on arts and culture, civic and community engagement to early education.Marisa Luse (she / her) is Roxbury native with a wealth of non-profit management, community engagement and civic leadership experience. She is committed to creating and shifting spaces that
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  • Martha Collins

    Poet, Writer

    Martha Collins
    Blue Front, White Papers, Admit One: An American Scrapbook, and the paired volumes Day Unto Day and Night Unto Night. Collins has also published four volumes of co-translated Vietnamese poetry and co-edited a number of volumes, including, with Kevin Prufer, Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries. She founded the U.Mass.-Boston creative writing program, and later served as Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College.Martha Collins's (she / her) tenth book of poetry, Because What Else Could I Do (Pittsburgh, 2019), won the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award. Previous books include
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  • Michelle Garcia Fresco

    Poet, Performer, Teaching Artist

    Michelle Garcia Fresco
    in Creative Writing and Sociology. Believing in the power of poetry as a medium for social justice. Garcia`s writing is often inspired by the women in her family, social and racial injustices in America, coping with loss and mental health, as well as her Dominican roots. Her work has appeared in Wbur/The Artery, Tinderbox Poetry, and the Rising Phoenix. She is also the winner of Stirling Spoon's “2020: Identity in America” contest, chosen by Richard Blanco, former US Inaugural Poet and author.Michelle Garcia Fresco (she / her) is an Dominican poet, performer, and teaching artist based in Boston. She is currently a Senior at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, double majoring
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  • Nikia Chaney

    Poet, Educator

    Nikia Chaney
    Girl Press). She has served as Inlandia Literary Laureate (2016-2018). She teaches at Cabrillo College.​Nikia Chaney (she / her) is the author of us mouth (University of Hell Press, 2018) and two chapbooks, Sis Fuss (2012, Orange Monkey Publishing) and ladies, please (2012, Dancing
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  • Nina LaNegra

    ArtiVist, Creatrix, Producer, Host

    Nina LaNegra
    say early bird, but most of all she believes in common unity, art and culture. Cultural Warriors, we don't die, we multiply.Producer, educator, performer, artiVist, Writer, curator, diaper changer, counselor, wet nurse and corporate ceo LaNegra (she / her) seldom sleeps. Some describe her as nocturnal, while others
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  • Print Ain't Dead (Cierra Peters & Arielle Gray)

    Bookstore, Publishing Platform

    Print Ain't Dead

    Print Ain't Dead (she / her) is a bookstore and publishing platform focused on literary and textbased artifacts produced by black, brown and indigenous artists.

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  • Rachel McKibbens

    Poet, Witch, Noisemaker

    Rachel McKibbens

    Rachel McKibbens (she / her) is a witch, a writer and a thinker. She founded the Pink Door Writing Retreat for fellows and resides in upstate New York.

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  • Rajiv Mohabir

    Poet, Translator, Memoirist

    Rajiv Mohabir
    (Four Way Books 2016, winner of the Four Way Books Intro to Poetry Prize, Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry in 2017), and translator of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara (1916) (Kaya Press 2019) which received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant Award and the 2020 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the American Academy of Poets. His memoir received the 2019 Reckless Books’ New Immigrant Writing Prize and is forthcoming 2021. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of poetry in the MFA program at Emerson College, translations editor at Waxwing Journal and poetry editor of Asian American Literary Review.Rajiv Mohabir (he / him) is the author of The Cowherd’s Son (Tupelo Press 2017, winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize; Eric Hoffer Honorable Mention 2018) and The Taxidermist’s Cut
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  • Ryan Murphy

    Publisher, Poet

    Ryan Murphy
    Fund For Poetry, and The New York State Foundation for the Arts.Ryan Murphy (he / him) is the author of Millbrook, The Redcoats, and Down with the Ship. He has received grants and awards from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Chelsea Magazine, The
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  • Safia
    Elhillo

    Author, Teaching Artist, Editor

    ​Safia Elhillo
    Arab American Book Award, Girls That Never Die (One World/Random House 2021), and the novel in verse Home Is Not A Country (Make Me A World/Random House, 2021). With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019). She is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and lives in Oakland.Safia Elhillo (she / her) is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an
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  • Seema Yasmin

    Poet, Doctor, Journalist

    Seema Yasmin
    Muslim Women Are Everything, Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them, and, poems based on her reporting on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.Seema Yasmin (she / her) is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, medical doctor, and author. A fiction fellow of the Kundiman and Tin House workshops, she is the author of four books including
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  • Stephen Hamilton

    Artist, Educator

    ​Stephen Hamilton
    painting and drawing with resist dyeing, weaving, and woodcarving. Each image is a marriage between the aesthetic perspectives and artistry of both traditions. As a Black American trained in traditional west African artforms, he treats the acts of weaving, dyeing, and woodcarving as ritualized acts of reclamation. He uses traditional techniques and materials native to West Africa to reclaim ancestral knowledge dissociated from Africans in the Americas, during the transatlantic slave trade. The work explores and heavily references the Black body in pre-colonial African art history, creating visual connections between the past and the present. This forms a body of work, which serves as a conceptual and visual bridge between the ancient and modern worlds. Through this, he explores elements of black identity through time and space on its own terms.Stephen Hamilton (he / him) is an artist and arts educator living and working in Boston Massachusetts. Stephen’s Work incorporates both Western and African techniques, blending figurative
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  • Tariq Charles

    Student, Poet, Emcee

    Tariq Charles

    Tariq Charles (he / him), 19, is a student, poet and emcee. A Roxbury native, Charles is a 2020 Youth Poet Laureate Finalist for the city of Boston and spends his time enjoying music, and his family.

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  • Tatiana Johnson-Boria

    Poet, Educator, Artist

    Tatiana Johnson-Boria
    She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College and is a 2021 Tin House Scholar. She also serves on the board for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Find her work in or forthcoming at Ploughshares, New Delta Review, Foundry and others.Tatiana (she / her) is a writer, artist and educator. Her writing explores identity, trauma, especially inherited trauma, and what it means to heal.
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  • Toni Bee

    Poet, Educator, Teaching Artist

    Toni Bee
    position. Bee led the Black Lives Matter march of Cambridge in 2015 and the following year was selected as the city's Inaugural Poetry Ambassador. Toni is a teaching artist and storyteller who has worked at Boch Theatre. She received her 'papers' from Simmons University. Her poetry book is called 22 Again, and is on the Advisory Board of The New England Poetry Club; Toni is the Founder and Curator of The Poetry Mashup as well as Poets In The Garden, which focuses on food justice in community gardens for Black folks and People of Color woman.Toni Bee (she / her) is a poet, educator, and photographer raised in Dorchester and educated in Roxbury. She is a Cambridge Poet Populist emeritus, and the first woman to grace that
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  • Yasmin Belkhyr

    Moroccan-American Writer & Editor

    Yasmin Belkhyr
    of their New Generations African Poetry series. Her writing has appeared in Soul Sister Revue, PANK, Waxwing, the TED Ideas Blog, and Muzzle Magazine. She is the founder & editor of the literary magazine, Winter Tangerine, and the independent publisher, Honeysuckle Press.Yasmin Belkhyr (she / her) is a Moroccan-American writer and editor. She is the author of Bone Light, a poetry chapbook published by the African Poetry Book Fund and Akashic Books, as part
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  • 826 Boston

    Youth Writing Organization

    826 Boston
    stories, and gain communication skills to succeed in school and in life.826 Boston (they / them) is a nonprofit youth writing and publishing organization that empowers traditionally underserved students ages 6-18 to find their voices, tell their
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Meet Our Hosts

  • SublimeLuv

    Womanist, Poet, Performer

    SublimeLuv
    spoken word artist, teaching artist, makeup artist, personal stylist, and social justice advocate. She is a product of private and public local school systems; and became an activist through words at an early age due to her contrasting experiences in those institutions. She has a fierce passion to combat climate change, gentrification, and systematic inequality; which disproportionately affect disadvantaged populations and people of the global majority. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Simmons University. She has performed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where she opened up for Grammy nominated artist Maimouna Youssef, the Museum of Fine Arts, the city of Quincy's first Pride celebration, and has been an active performer in The Femme Show since 2014. Through her art and future endeavors, she aims to empower women and people of the global majority to impact visibility and positive global change.Amber Aliyah Williams, aka SublimeLuv, (she / her) is a black queer womanist who always speaks her truth and believes "the personal is political." She is a Boston born and bred
  • Denise Washington

    CEO, Curator, Poet

    Denise Washington
    years, poetry has been popping up around the City of Boston, beyond and currently on-line, virtually, empowering communities one poem at a time! This Series create a safe space for people to breathe, listen, recite and enjoy! She is currently on the Advisory Board of The New England Poetry Club. She is an Educator in Boston, nurturing students, teaching mindfulness, yoga and Zumba to the whole school community, their families and staff. She was born and raised in Roxbury, Massachusetts; was a METCO student who graduated from Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School; is an Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts Alum and a vocal student of the late John Andrew Ross. She holds a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Emerson College in Television Production/ Creative Writing. For several years, she lived in North Hollywood, California. While living there she discovered her love for writing television scripts, plays, poetry and Children’s literature and she became a Television Writer on a show produced by HBO.Denise (she / her) is so excited to be using the power of poetry to bring people together! She is the Founder and CEO of her #Pop-Up Poetry Series, A Denise Plays Hard Event. For the past 4
  • D Ruff

    Poet, Performer, Curator

    ​D Ruff
    "if you can Feel It, you can Speak It" Open Mic movement, held at Bella Luna/ Milky Way in Jamaica Plain, for the last ten years. He has been writing and performing for over twenty years. Most of his poems stem from personal experiences and his environments and therefore range in topics from black love and heartbreak to inequality and black culture. D Ruff performs with inspiring passion in hopes that any black body will also want to find a way to express themselves, find that "tribe" and achieve their greatness, with the intention of leaving the cycle of hurt, pain, and negativity, right where it was showcased.D Ruff (he / him) is a spoken word poet, author of "Staying on 94: Tales from a Misguided Soul," and Creative Director of the Boston Pulse Poetry program. He has been the co-host of the
  • Nakia Hill

    Writer, Educator, Journalist

    Nakia Hill
    native of Roxbury, Hill was named a Boston Artist-in-Residence in 2018 by Mayor Marty Walsh. Hill is the author of two books: Water Carrier and I Still Did It. She is the first Black woman to become an editor at Boston Art Review. She is a co-writer on Here Comes the Break, a fictionalized YA drama podcast. You can find her cheffin' it up in the kitchen while immersing herself in good music and podcasts during her spare time.Nakia Hill (she / her) is a writer, journalist, and educator who focuses on empowering Black women and girls to use writing as a tool for healing and resistance through book publishing. A
  • Angela Siew

    Poet, Writer, Dreamer

    Angela Siew
    Poetry Workshop. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets College Prize and has work published in Crab Orchard Review, Dialogist, The Merrimack Review and Art New England.Angela Siew (she / her) is a multilingual poet who received her MFA from Emerson College. Her work has been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Community of Writers
  • Lewis Morris

    Poet, Beatmaker, MC

    Lewis Morris
    retain a refreshingly simplified approach to hip-hop production that harkens back to the boom-bap of the 90's while remaining fresh and new.Lewis M. (he / him) is a Boston-based (and Providence born) poet, beatmaker, and MC. He has performed at the Apollo Theater in NYC, The Smithsonian, among many other venues. His beats

DJ WhySham Presents… BEAST THE BEAT

  • DJ WhySham

    DJ WhySham
    uses the tagline “Your Community DJ”. DJ WhySham has been seen on “The ShadeRoom w/ Megan Thee Stallion”, Boston Neighborhood Network and has DJ’ed for Senator Elizabeth Warren. She is also the Official DJ for Brandie Blaze and CakeSwagg. While in Boston, DJ WhySham received the Neighborhood Leadership Award from the Codman Square Neighborhood Council. This award recognized Hidden Heroes & Sheroes in the community who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and commitment to improving the quality of life in our neighborhood.Shamara AKA DJ WhySham (she / her), was nominated for the 2019 & 2020 Boston Music Awards ‘DJ Of The Year’. She is a visionary, activist, traveler, sister, god-parent, curator and
  • Red Shaydez

    Red Shaydez
    undeniable talent and electric personality have been widely praised by both local and national media such asMTV,Boston 25 News,Boston Magazine,The Boston Globe,NPR MUSIC, and more!”Red Shaydez (she / her), Boston native, is a Boston Music Award winning hip-hop artist, professional video producer, public speaker, educator, and youth mentor. Red’s
  • MALiA the Model

    MALiA the Model
    Lawrence, Ma and found her talents making way to Boston in 2017. With her UPBEAT tempo, she keeps a good mix of old and new school sounds, creating a feel good, unapologetic, money making, party type of music. Her inspirations range from Missy Elliott, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Tink, T.I., Rihanna, Busta Rhymes and Aaliyah. Known for her SCENARiO Li-Mix on Youtube, paying homage to A Tribe Called Quest, the model rapper released her first EP entitled ‘MADE U LOOK’ (2018). Soon after, her single ‘NO TIME’ (2019), ‘BE GONE’ (2020) and her newest single I’M HOT!MALiA The Model (she / her) is MODEL MUSiK! With her one of a kind voice and slim figure, MALiA is, Naomi Campbell meets Hip Hop. Beginning her music journey in 2018, she grew up in
  • CakeSwagg

    CakeSwagg
    week she uses a variety of instrumentals. CakeSwagg has attracted over 28k listeners to her recent song “Ferb and Phineas”, available on all music platforms.CakeSwagg (she / her), Roxbury Native, is a Boston Music Award nominee. CakeSwagg is the creator of "Talk that Talk Tuesdays”, where she is known to release a freestyle every Tuesday. Each
  • Brandie Blaze

    Brandie Blaze
    leaving her mark across the music scene. Known for her hit record “Boss Like Me”, Brandie Blaze has been influential to women in Boston and across the world looking to break into the music industry by just being themselves.Brandie Blaze (she / her), Dorchester Native, Trap Feminist, Boston Music Award nominee, featured in Jubilee “Is WAP A Female Empowerment?”, Brandie Blaze has been a trailblazer