Living at the intersection of blackness, womanhood, art, and activism, Nia McAllister uses writing as her sharpest tool for understanding and interrogating the complexities of her identity and the world around her. As a Bay Area born poet, avid reader, and environmental justice advocate, Nia draws creative inspiration from ideas of home, environment, and identity. She enjoys connecting her artistic outlets with opportunities for community engagement and has begun contributing to poetry collectives and regularly performing at and hosting open mics around the Bay Area.Read More
Michael “Mic” Ting is an Asian American poet born and raised in the Bay Area. He started writing and performing poetry during his college years at Santa Clara University, and since then has competed on three national slam poetry teams (Team Palo Alto in 2014 and 2015, and The Alchemy Slam in 2016). In 2015, he helped Team Palo Alto take 2nd at Group Piece Finals during the National Poetry Slam. In addition to performing as part of a team, Mic has also competed as an individual at IWPS 2018 (Individual World Poetry Slam), InkSlam, Southwest Shootout, and NUPIC (National Underground Poetry Individual Competition). Mic is the 2018 IWPS champion and currently ranked as the #1 slam poet in the world.Read More
Josiah Luis Alderete is a full blooded POCHO spanglish speaking poet from La Area Bahia who learned to write poetry in the kitchen of his Mama’s Mexican restaurant. He first began performing his poetry en La Mission at the infamous Thursday night readings at Cafe Babar. In the 90’s he was a founding member of San Francisco's outspoken word troupe The Molotov Mouths (whose collected writings were published by Manic D Press in 2003). Over the years Josiah Luis has been featured at numerous Mission literary events including MAPP, Voz sin Tinta, Pan Dulce Poets, Acion Latina’s Paséo de Arte, as well as San Francisco poet laureat Kim Schuck’s series honoring Mission district poets. He has been the featured reader in the East Bay at Lyrics and Dirges, Nomadic Press' First Fridays and GETLIT, as well as at BAMPFA’s Friday night reading series. In 2017 he was named an AIR New Voice Scholar and was also featured in BAMPFA’s “Wey Bay” exhibition. Josiah Luis is also a radio insurgente whose stories have appeared on KALW’s “Crosscurrents" and whose show “The Spanglish Power Hour” aired on KPFA. He curates the Latinx reading series SPEAKING AXOLOTL in Oakland which happens every third Thursday of the month at Nomadic Press Studios Uptown. Josiah Luis Alderete currently resides somewhere in North Richmond where he is still waiting for Quetzalquatl to arriveRead More
Poets of Color Podcast episode 15 w/ Valentina de Roca FuerteRead More
Freddy Merlos is a Salvadoran and Nahúat descendant poet who left his native home of El Salvador during the mid-80’s as a result of the US funded Civil War.
His poetry has been featured in La Horchata Magazine, and he co-produced a radio segment about baseball for NPR's Latino USA. Freddy has performed throughout the greater Bay Area (occupied Ohlone Territory), and has presented at Undocufest, Lunada Festival and El Comalito Collective.
He lived undocumented in the US for 30 years and became a naturalized citizen in 2017. He resides in the Pacific Northwest. His current project “Blackbird Exposed to the Wind” will release in 2019.
Currently, you can find his poetry @pursuingarete on IG.
Flavia Elisa Mora is an immigrant artivist from Mexico, raised in San Francisco.
Her writing focuses on her experience as an immigrant chingonx, spiritual old soul, and her role in intersectional feminism, and the healing of systematic oppression in unrepresented communities.
Tshaka was one of the 100 monkeys (#37) and does poetry to help speed up the process. It was said that he spat up Ethiopia while getting drunk with Thoth and Jesus. Once he read in a tabloid, that he and Crispus Attucks took the Underground Railroad to a house party in the Bronx and after 2 drinks, invented trap music.
Tshaka began writing poetry long before performing it in an attempt to find his own voice and point of view within the art form. As a performer, he is recognized as an accomplished artist internationally and performance accolades include not only being a member of the Nuyorican national poetry slam team and the Da Poetry Lounge (DPL) slam team, but also earning the Grand Champion title in San Francisco and Hollywood. In 2010, he was also honored with the UK Unsigned Artist award in poetry.
Tshaka has toured a number of US cities and across the globe, featuring at venues such as the legendary Apollo Theatre and the O2 in London England and has authored three books of poetry and short stories. He has collaborated on a number of musical project from jazz to house music including productions by Yoruba and FOMP recording labels.
He continues to be inspired by the struggle of life, the uncertain certainty of the universe and what it chooses to hand you. His wife and daughter show him the way daily, as well as so many authors and poets such as Octavia Butler, Ben Okri, Rumi, Baldwin, and countless others who spin language like silk.
He currently resides in San Jose and continues to ask the world to listen different.
Angelique Estella is a multifaceted poet, writer and model. She has graced stages around California as well as Florida. Her passion is in building with the creative community and being around other artists, networking and working.Angelique co-founded and hosts an open mic by the name of Creative Flow. She also created and heads Poetry at the Park which is a creative outlet for artists to gather and write outdoors. Each April she heads an online poetry group for National Poetry Month by the name of NPM 30 for 30 on Facebook. Follow her on IG: @everythingangeliqueestella And FB: Angelique Estella Paramore. Creative Flow's social media is IG:@creativeopenmic and FB:Creative Flow Open Mic.Read More
"Jaz Sufi is a Kundiman fellow, a National Poetry Slam finalist, and the slammaster of the Berkeley Slam, the longest running poetry slam on the West Coast. She was the 2015 Berkeley Grand Slam Champ, and went on to place third in the nation at the 2015 National Poetry Slam. She was also San Francisco's representative to the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam, a featured poet at the 2011 USF Creative Justice Art Show, and has featured at venues across the country, from the Scottish Rites Center to performing alongside the Townsend Opera. Her work has been published or is upcoming in PANK, the Offing, DIALOGIST, the Dead Animal Handbook, and elsewhere. Sometimes Jaz is sad in her poems, and that’s fine, but sometimes she’s not, and that’s fine, too."Read More
Poets of Color Podcast Episode 9 w/ Jasmine "Queen Jasmeen" Schlafke
Jasmine "Queen Jasmeen" Schlafke is a poet, activist and mother from Santa Cruz, CA dedicated to expression and art. She earned her spot on a National poetry team for the last three years and is teaching slam in alternative high school settings, weekly. In her free time Jasmine volunteers for a mental health network and remains committed to mental health activism and liberation.Read More
Norm is a brother from “The Bronx” thriving for over thirty years in the Bay Area. He has been writing in journals, notebooks, on the back of envelopes and torn off pieces of paper bags, forever, and has just completed his first chapbook, Get Home Safe! Poems for Crossing the Community Grid. It was one of his first students that recognized the connection of his name and his favorite subject, 'MATHMATTOX'. Norm is currently teaching in the Mathematics Department at Willie Brown Middle School, in the Bayview-Hunters Point district in San Francisco.Read More
Reginald Edmonds is a poet, activist, educator and certified shit talker based out of Richmond, Ca. Reggie is the cofounder and cohost of the RichOak Alchemy Poetry Slam in Oakland and a member of the 2018 Berkeley Slam Team. They enjoy long walks on the beach, Hennessy with limes, and looking for someone who will save them from this capitalist hellscape. Their poetry is map of intersections that illustrates the complexity of the human experience. Through their work, they hope you will come to understand how much we all contribute to the degradation of humanity, as well as what we can all do to turn this shitshow around.
Lorenz Mazon Dumuk has two collections of poetry, Ay Nako: Writing Through the Struggle, and I Think In Poetry. He was a member of the 2014 San Jose Slam Team, a VONA alumni, and a MALI (Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute) alumni, which is a Silicon Valley based program that focuses on developing leaders of color in the arts, culture, and entertainment sectors. He is one of the curators for, Glowing with the Moon, an open mic and interactive community space in San Jose. Lorenz writes with, against, and through the contradictions he encounters, which allows him to explore the different silences in his life through his poetry. An awkwardly adorable poet who can be caught doing hip-circles before a poetry reading.Read More
Episode 5 featuring Habló Rodríguez-Williams is a genderqueer, first generation, Colombian and Mexican poet, healer and storyteller who's work is centered around decolonial resistance and deconstructing their forced assimilation.Read More
Episode 4 featuring Ato Walker, comedian and poet based in San Jose, CA.Read More
Jamey Williams is the outspoken poet representing Richmond, California. After winning the Compliment Death Match at the 2017 National Poetry Slam he was dubbed “the nicest poet in the country.” He co-founded both the Rich Oak Alchemy Slam & CSUEB Slam Fam. Not only has he toured internationally, but he was invited to perform at Twitter Headquarters. When he isn’t competing, Jamey spends his time watching anime, reading books, educating the youth, and pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree.Read More
Nazelah Jamison is a performance poet, actor, vocalist, and emcee. She is an East Coast transplant, former organizer of the Oakland Poetry Slam and sometimes reluctant superhero. Her first book of poetry, Evolutionary Heart, was released in Fall of 2016 on Nomadic Press.Read More