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Ariana Brown

Poet  | Performer |  Facilitator

Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from San Antonio, TX. She is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes and a 2014 national collegiate slam champion. Ariana is lowkey a curandera and highkey the yungest abuela you will ever meet.


Marshall Gillson

Writer  |  Actor  |  Educator

Marshall "Gripp" Gillson is a multimedia writer and performer (film, theater, songs, poetry). In 2016 and 2017, they appeared on back-to-back National Poetry Slam final stages and won at back-to-back Vox Pop poetry tournaments. In 2018, their first short film premiered at the Roxbury International Film Festival. Their art explores race, gender, mental health, loneliness, existential dread, and not infrequently robots.

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Jonathan Mendoza

Poet  |  Activist  |  Educator

Jonathan Mendoza is a Jewish and Mexican-American activist, spoken word poet, social justice educator, and musician. He is a National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the 2018 Sonia Sanchez Langston Hughes Poetry Prize, as well as a youth organizer with Pilsen Alliance and a teaching artist with Young Chicago Authors in Chicago's lower west side.

Alan Pelaez Lopez

Writer  | Performance Artist |  Educator

Alan Pelaez Lopez is an AfroIndigenous poet, installation and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. They are the author of Intergalactic Travels: Poems from a Fugitive Alien (The Operating System, 2020), a finalist for the 2020 International Latino Book Award, and to love and mourn in the age of displacement (Nomadic Press, 2020). Pelaez Lopez has been building with queer and trans undocumented migrants for ten years and is currently based in Oakland, CA.

Janae Johnson

Writer | Performer | Educator

Janae Johnson is a writer, performer, educator, curator, DJ and host. She is a Woman of the World + National Poetry Slam Champion and Write Bloody Book Award Finalist. Her work has appeared on PBS Newshour, ESPN and encompasses Black masculinity, queerness, women's basketball and her love for Motown music.

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Aurielle Marie

Poet  | Essayist |  Activist 

Aurielle Marie is an essayist, poet, facilitator and activist hailing from the Deep South. Her essays and poems can be found in The Guardian, Vinyl Poetry, Allure Magazine, and the Sycamore Review. Aurielle writes and speaks about bodies, justice, sex and pop culture from a Black feminist lens.

Porsha Olayiwola

Writer  | Educator |  Curator

Porsha Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas.  She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston.