"MP is a feminist residing in NYC with roots from the Dominican Republic. She is a writer, student and educator who speaks about current issues that are both controversial and relatable. Her work is directed towards the young, inner city demographic (18-32) and her passionate and relentless ways has won the support of thousands of loyal readers (mpfrias.com)."
"Flose Boursiquot is a 24-year-old Haitian-rooted palm tree dancing in the Florida sun, dreaming of the New York chill she has known all her youth. She is a product of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Her journey has taken her from Spring Valley, New York, to Delray Beach, Florida, all along moving people both through community organizing and through poetry (repeatingislands.com)."
"An author, performer, poet, teacher...yes to all of those titles, but more importantly Jasmine Mans is an artist...an artist who enjoys having various forums to express her thoughts, moods, opinions and a voice to speak out on behalf of others and the community around her. Jasmine has never been described as the quiet type. Her poetry has teeth. Her stories are told to evoke the emotional well-being of those who are apprehensive about culture, politics and social stigmas. (jasminemans.com)"
"She does it all: Soulful singing, awesome spoken word poetry, lyrics for days and all while advocating for lupus. Shanelle is widely known for both opening and featuring on HBO's Def Poetry Jam alongside Jill Scott and DMX and has also shared the stage with artists such as Eric Benet, Talib Kweli, Nas, Erick Sermon, Malcolm Jamal Warner and more. Shanelle was spotlighted on the Rachael Ray Show, HuffPost Live, Fox News and KAYA 95.9 FM- Johannesburg and was recognized by Listerine and Wal-Mart in the "Your Mouth Matters" campaign. (ShanelleGabriel.com)"
"Zora Howard is a Harlem-raised writer, spoken word artist, actress and activist. Learning the balance of writing for personal expression and performing for a theatre audience, she found spoken word at the age of thirteen. She began slamming the same year and won the Urban Word NYC Grand Slam finals, the youngest poet ever to do so. Her work with filmmaker Lisa Russell on the short film Biracial Hair, based on her original poem of the same title, won an Emmy for Outstanding Advanced Media Interactivity in 2009. Her work has also been showcased on HBO, PBS, NBC and on the second season of TV One series Verses and Flow. (http://poetzorahoward-blog.tumblr.com/)"
"Poet and activist Warsan Shire grew up in London. She is the author of the collections Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (flipped eye, 2011), Her Blue Body (flipped eye, 2015) and Our Men Do Not Belong to Us (Slapering Hol Press and Poetry Foundation, 2015). Shire’s poems connect gender, war, sex and cultural assumptions; in her work, poetry is a healing agent for the trauma of exile and suffering. In an interview, Shire noted, “Character driven poetry is important for me — it’s being able to tell the stories of those people, especially refugees and immigrants, that otherwise wouldn’t be told, or they’ll be told really inaccurately. (poetryfoundation.org)"
"Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of a Millay Colony residency, an Urban Word NYC mentor and the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. In 2011, she represented the LouderArts poetry project at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. (poetryfoundation.org)"
"Smith studied at Harvard University, where she joined the Dark Room Collective, a reading series for writers of color. She then went on to receive her MFA from Columbia University. Smith’s first collection, The Body’s Question (Graywolf Press, 2003), won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize in 2002. Her second book, Duende (Graywolf Press, 2007), won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her most recent collection, Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (poets.org).
Be sure to catch Rebel break down her spoken word on Rebel, Tuesday at 10P/9C! Only on BET!
(Photos from left: Flose Bouriqout, MP Frias, Shanelle Gabriel via Instagram)