Authors and Artists

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Tim Stafford

Tim Stafford is a poet and public school teacher from Chicago. He is a former Chicago Poetry Slam Champion who performs regularly at festivals all over the U.S. and Europe.

Taylor Mali

Mali is the author of two books of poetry, The Last Time As We Are (Write Bloody Books 2009) and What Learning Leaves (Hanover 2002), and four CDs of spoken word. He received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2001 to develop Teacher! Teacher! a one-man show about poetry, teaching, and math which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival. Mali was formerly president of Poetry Slam, Inc.

Tara Hardy

Tara Hardy is a working class queer femme poet who writes and teaches in Seattle, Washington. She is the Founder and Art and Education Director of Bent, a writing institute for LGBTIQ people based in Seattle. In 2002, she was elected by the people and named by the city council Seattle’s Poet Populist and she won the Seattle Grand Slam Champion title the same year. In 2008, she was selected to represent Seattle in the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit. She holds an MFA from Vermont College in fiction writing and an MSW from the University of Michigan in Community Organizing.

Sierra DeMulder

Sierra DeMulder is a Pushcart-nominated touring performance poet. In 2009 she won the National Poetry Slam, was awarded Best Female Poet at College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, and ranked 9th at the Individual World Poetry Slam. She lives in St. Paul, MN.

Shanny Jean Maney

Shanny Jean Maney is a performance poet and teacher. With Robbie Q. Telfer, she co-founded internationally popular The Encyclopedia Show, which won the Orgie Theatre Award in 2009. She lives in Chicago.

Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay is a poet, playwright, singer-songwriter, and founder of ProjectVOICE. She spoke at the TEDtalks 2011 Conference and the 2011 Cannes Lions Creativity Festival. Sarah is also a featured poet on the sixth season of Russell Simmons presents HBO Def Poetry Jam.

Rob “Ratpack Slim” Sturma

Rob Sturma, performing under the nom de plume Ratpack Slim, has been on three nationally-ranked slam teams and made it to the finals stage in 2005 with Team Hollywood. He is a former poetry editor for, the current poetry editor for Kotori Magazine, and produced a series of webstories for called “Children Of Slam”.

Pages Matam

Pages Matam is an performance artist, educator, playwright, and award-winning slam poet. He was awarded DC Grand Slam Champion twice and in 2013 won the Southern Fried Championship. He currently resides in the Washington D.C.

Nicole Homer

Nicole Homer is a writer and educator. Combining the intimacy of a whisper and the nonchalance of a bus station confession (with a helping of humor), she tells stories that examine gender, race, relationships and the minutia of life in a way that invites the reader to come in, pull up a chair, and stay awhile. Her writing has appeared in Muzzle, The Offing, FreezeRay Poetry, Cease Cows, The Boiler Journal, and elsewhere. She is an Editor and regular contributor at BlackNerdProblems. She has an MFA from Rutgers-Newark and currently lives in New Jersey where she teaches.

Nancy Huang

Nancy grew up in America and China. She is the winner of a James F. Parker Award in Poetry, a finalist for MSU’s Young Playwrights Festival, a two-time gold key recipient of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and a 2015 YoungArts Finalist. She won the Michigan Grand Prize in Letters About Literature and was shortlisted as #6 nationally by the Library of Congress. This past summer she was the youngest attendant of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop summer graduate session. She lives in Austin.

Mindy Nettifee

Nettifee is a Grand Slam Champion of the Long Beach/Orange County Poetry Slam and  competes on and coaches teams at 5 National Poetry Slam Competitions. She served for five years on the Five Penny Poets advisory board of literary nonprofit Tebot Bach.  She currently directs the poetry nonprofit Write Now Poetry Society.

Miles Walser

Miles Walser is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. In 2012 he won the award for Best Poem by a Male Poet at the Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam Invitational. His work has appeared in literary journals The Legendary and Used Furniture Review as well as the audio podcast IndieFeed.

Mike Mcgee

As a Poetry Slam competitor in the U.S., Mike has competed at the National Poetry Slam on team San José several times. In 2003, McGee won the coveted National Poetry Slam Individual Grand Championship, besting over 300 nationally ranked poetry slammers.

Megan Falley

Megan Falley is one of a mere handful of poets to be published both on Penmanship Books and Write Bloody Press. After representing SUNY New Paltz for four years on the college slam team, Megan later earned her degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and returned to New Paltz to coach the team. In 2009 she helped found the second largest collegiate spoken word tournament in the country, The Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam Invitational. In 2010 she represented New York City on a competing team at the National Poetry Slam and her work began appearing in several literary magazines and anthologies including The Nervous Breakdown, PANK, Muzzle, Kill Author, The Legendary, Danse Macabre, and The Literary Bohemian. When she is not writing poems, Megan occupies herself by turning her ex-lovers into pies.

Lauren Zuniga

Lauren Zuniga is a nationally touring poet and teaching artist. She is the founder of Oklahoma Young Writers. In 2010, she was nominated for Oklahoma Poet Laureate. She serves on the board of the IAO Gallery, tours for the Oklahoma Arts Council. She has competed in 9 national level poetry competitions.

Khary Jackson

Khary Jackson is a writer, dancer, musician and youth worker. As a spoken word artist, he has been a finalist in four national poetry competitions, as well as winning the 2009 and 2010 national slam with the St. Paul team.



Karen Finneyfrock

Karen Finneyfrock is a poet, novelist and teaching artist in Seattle, WA. She is a Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House in Seattle and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. A member of four National Poetry Slam Teams, Karen has toured across the US and Canada reading poetry in bars, coffee shops, theatres and the occasional living room. Karen was honored as a “Slam Legend” at the National Poetry Slam in 2006.

Jon Sands

Jon Sands has been a professional teaching and performing artist since 2007. He’s a recipient of the 2009 NYC-LouderARTS fellowship grant, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam. He is the Director of Poetry and Arts Education Programming at the Positive Health Project, as well as a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC.

Jeremy Radin

Jeremy Radin is a poet and actor living in LA. He has performed at several poetry venues in the greater Los Angeles area such as Beyond Baroque and co-hosted the Lightbulb Mouth Radio Hour. As an actor, he’s spent the last six years studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, has been on several television shows: ER, CSI, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He is currently running poetry workshops for patients under treatment for eating disorders.

Jeanann Verlee

Jeanann Verlee is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow whose work has appeared in Adroit, Muzzle, PANK, BuzzFeed Reader, and The Feminist Wire. Her first book, RACING HUMMINGBIRDS, was awarded the silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and she is a recipient of the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins Prize, in addition to multiple nominations for both Pushcart and Best of the Net. She has represented New York City ten times at the National Poetry Slam, iWPS and WOWPS under both Urbana Poetry Slam and The louderARTS Project. She was once the highest-scoring individual poet at NPS Finals and has twice been the Urbana iWPS Champion. She believes in you.

Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene. He is also one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze, and has been an organizer for the Asian and Pacific Islander Poetry and Spoken Word Summit. His first book, “Amulet” was published in 2013 through Write Bloody Press and has garnered acclaim in literary magazines such as Zyzzyva and Glint. He is currently the program manager for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country).

Hieu Nguyen

Hieu Minh Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American Poet raised in Saint-Paul, Minnesota. He is currently on the Good News Poetry Tour and in 2012 was a featured performer at the Equilibrium’s 10-year anniversary show. His work has been published by Muzzle, PANK, Indiana Review, Anti-, and The Journal.

Franny Choi

Franny Choi has been a finalist for the National Poetry Slam, the Individual World Poetry Slam, and the Women of the World Poetry Slam. She has also written a play, Mask Dances, and lectures and performs at schools and conferences around the country.

Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline is a regular performer at the Austin Poetry Slam and two time Fair City Slam Champion. He has also published a novel entitled, Ready Player One, which has since become a New York Times Bestseller. The novel is also due to be made into a movie by Warner Bros.

Elaina Ellis

Elaina M. Ellis writes poetry in an urban tree house in Seattle, teaching writing to students of all ages. She founded TumbleMe Productions, a vehicle for multi-media artistic collaboration which, in its first year, sold out four taboo-smashing productions. Ellis will earn her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2011.

Derrick Brown

Brown, former paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne, gondolier, magician, and fired weatherman, now travels the world and performs his written work. As a poet, he has toured or performed with indie rock act, Cold War Kids, The Flaming Lips and Comedian David Cross. called his latest collection, Scandalabra, one of the best books of 2009. To date, Brown has performed at over 1500 venues and universities internationally including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Glastonbury and La Sorbonne in Paris. He is the founder and Captain of Write Bloody publishing.

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester is the editor of The Incredible Sestina Anthology. He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Founder and host of the three-time National Poetry Slam Championship venue, NYC-Urbana, Cristin is the author of five books of poetry. She is currently a rights agent for the Artists Rights Society.

Clint Smith

Clint Smith is a teacher, writer, and Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard Harvard University with a concentration in Culture, Institutions, and Society. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship with research interests that include mass incarceration, race, and the history of U.S. inequality.

Caitlin Scarano

Caitlin Scarano is originally from southern Virginia, but now lives in Milwaukee, where she is a poet in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PhD creative writing program. She has two poetry chapbooks: The White Dog Year (dancing girl press, 2015) and The Salt and Shadow Coiled (Zoo Cake Press, 2015). Her recent work can be found in Granta, Crazyhorse, and Ninth Letter.

Buddy Wakefield

Wakefield is the two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion featured on NPR, the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and most recently signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records.

Bucky Sinister

Bucky entered the world of poetry in 1987 and continues today as a well-regarded poet, comedian, and self-help author. He counts nine chapbooks and three books of poetry. His poetry has been in numerous anthologies, most notably The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Bucky keeps a street theme throughout his work, which makes him accessible to a wide range of people. He performs regularly in SF’s The Business.

Brian Ellis

Ellis began performing for audiences in spring 2006. Since then he has been on the the Cantab Lounge Poetry Slam team twice and has represented the Cantab at the individual world poetry slam. He is a local slam champion and has been featured at poetry venues from New England to various regions of the U.S.

Brendan Constantine

Brendan Constantine is a poet based in LA. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, ArtLife, The Cortland Review and Runes. His new work is forthcoming in Field Rattle, Redivider, and Verse Wisconsin. His collection, Letters To Guns, was released in 2009 from Red Hen Press. He is currently poet-in-residence at The Windward School and Loyola Marymount University Extension. In addition, he offers workshops in hospitals, foster and elder care centers, and shelters for the homeless. In 2002 he was nominee for Poet Laureate for California.

Bill Moran

Bill Moran is a third-year MFA poetry candidate at Louisiana State University and a former medic. He was the 2012 & 2013 Austin Poetry Slam Champion, has performed and taught poetry internationally, and served as president of Mic Check, a non-profit poetry organization in Brazos County, Texas. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Button Poetry (video), Phoebe, Bird’s Thumb, Next Left Press, FreezeRay Press, The Dead Animal Handbook, LUX, Alien Mouth, and Drunk in a Midnight Choir. He appreciates your concern and well-wishes, but swears he is okay. Really.

Beau Sia

Beau Sia is the son of Chinese immigrants from the Philippines. Beau’s first collection of work was A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge. Since then, he’s shared his work all over the world at festivals, universities and conferences. He has also acted in Slam and Rachel Getting Married, Norman Lear’s Declare Yourself project; wrote the hip hop musical Krunk Fu Battle Battle.

Annelyse Gelman

Annelyse Gelman is a poet and Musician that goes under the name, Shoulderblades. Her poetry has appeared is publications such as Hobart, The Economy, Nailed, The Light Ekphrastic, Rufous City Review, Former People, The Destroyer, MARY, and Australian Book Review. Her newest collection, Everyone I Love is a Stranger to Someone, will be published in April of 2014.

Anis Mojgani

Anis Mojgani is a two time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of International World Cup Poetry Slam. A Pushcart Prize Nominee and former resident of the Oregon Literary Arts Writer’s-In-The-Schools program, Anis has performed at numerous universities, festivals, and venues around the globe. His work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of Rattle magazine.

Andrea Gibson

Gibson was the winner of the 2008 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and has placed 3rd in the world for the last 3 years by iWPS. She won a DIY Poetry Book of the Year and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her first book, “Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns.” She has appeared on Free Speech TV, the documentary Slam Planet, NPR, Air America and Independent Radio Stations nationwide.

Amber Flame

An award-winning writer and performer, Amber Flame is also a singer for multiple musical projects. Flame’s original work is published and recorded in many diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Jack Straw, Black Heart Magazine, Redivider, and forthcoming from Sundress Publications, harlequin creature, and more. Since moving to the Bay Area, Flame works at an independent media company, This Week in Blackness, as well as a teaching artist for various theater companies and co-produces the Oakland Slam.

Aaron Samuels

Aaron Samuels discovered his love for spoken word poetry at age 14 and went on to become one of the premiere performance poets in the country, featuring on TV One’s Verses & Flow, HBO’s Brave New Voices, and TEDx Washington University. His work has appeared in multiple journals including the Tidal Basin Review, Apogee Journal, and Muzzle Magazine.



Zoe Norvell
Winona Leon
Gary Musgrave
Joshua Grieve

Blaine Fontana

Jennifer Davis

Matthew Carver

Brandon Lyon
Bill Jonas 
Nathan Warkentin
Matthew Wignall
Jeff Harmon

Shea Gauer
Cole Nuckols
Lea Deschenes
Jenny Lewis
Jennifer Heuer
Ashley Siebels
Nik Ewing