Friday
Jul312015

LUPE MÉNDEZ

Lupe Mendez is a poet/educator, originally from Galveston, Texas, who works with Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, and Word Around Town Poetry to establish poetry events and writing workshops open to the public. Lupe’s recent work is now part of Norton’s newest anthology -Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories From The United States and Latin America, the 25th anniversary edition of The Bayou Review (University of Houston-Downtown) and Flash (University of Chester, England)- the international forum for flash fiction. 

Mendez has over fifteen years of experience as a performance poet - having opened up for such notable writers as Dagoberto Gilb, Oscar Casarez, Esmeralda Santiago and the late Raul Salinas. He has hosted several workshop series throughout Texas and shared his poetry across the country in places like the Holocaust Muesum (Houston,TX), the Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts (San Francisco,CA) , the National Hispanic Cultural Center (Albuquerque,NM)  and the Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin,TX).  Lupe has served as a keynote speaker at colleges and universities such as Sam Houston State University, the University of Houston, Lone Star College, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Lee College in Baytown, TX. 

In 2012 Lupe was  honored as one "Houston Press' Creative 100s" - a annual spotlight on the Houston Press blog site where 100 artists & arts supporters are featured throughout the year . Lupe, along with the rest of the Librotraficante organizers, was also awarded the 2012 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award for the defense of Mexican American Studies and literature across the Southwest United States. Lupe also served as Fiction and Poetry editor for the online literary journal - Drunken Boat - on the Librotraficante Portfolio for their 18th issue. As of 2014, Lupe was selected as a CantoMundo Fellow and continues to work on submissions, creating more writing workshop opportunities and continues to share his poetry with local high schools, colleges and community/arts centers. 

Lupe is a founding organizer of the Librotraficante Movement and currently pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Friday
Jul312015

D.E.E.P.

A 2015 Houston Poet Laureate Finalist, D.E.E.P. has established herself as a notable nationally-known poet and author. Ranked the #2 Best female poet in the world in 2008, she has been a force of power in the poetry community for 13 years. She published her first collection of poetry, "Heartstrings and Lamentations," at the tender age of 19. She went on to compete in her first national poetry slam in her senior year of college as a member of the 2004 Collegiate Poetry Slam Team for the University of Michigan.
After falling in love with the National poetry slam team she moved to Houston and became a member of the 2007 Houston Poetry Slam and 2008 H-Town National Poetry Slam Teams. She served as the Slammaster and seven-time member of the Houston VIP Slam Team.  

Currently, she is the three-time Grand Slam Champion of the Houston VIP team. In 2011, she coached the National Team to Group Piece Finals where they were ranked 6th in the nation. In 2012, under her coaching, the VIP team was ranked 4th in the Southwest at the Southwest Shootout Regional Slam.

She has had the honor of being chosen as one of the Juried Poets for the 2012 Houston Poetry Fest She has been a finalist at the 2013 Southern Fried Poetry Slam and the Champion of the 2014 Counter Current Ekphrastic Poetry Slam. Most recently gained the title of Last Chance Slam Champion at the 2014 Women of the World Slam.

Her work can be seen in the 2012 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology, the 2014 Survival Issue published by Wicked Banshee Press, And the Alight Collection of women’s poetry.
She has also been featured as opening acts for such artists as Talib Kweli, MC Lyte, Amiri Baraka, John Legend, Slum Village, Karen Clark-Sheard, Def Poet Sunni Patterson, Def Comedy Jam's Rodman, Regie Gibson, multiple political figures, and many more.

 

Thursday
Jul302015

ROSES

ROSES' literary influences are the likes of Gill Scott Heron, Nikki Giovanni, Sonya Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Richard Wright, Toni Blackman and her girl crush Jill Scott. While in junior high her creative writing teacher took the class on a field trip to hear Nikki Giovanni and after hearing Nikki Giovanni spit “Ego Trippin” so melodic, eloquent and rhythmic, Roses was mesmerized by the smooth phrasing and word play. And realized that words were much more than a means to communicate, they were bricks used to fortify our mental, emotional and spiritual state of existence. Words are powerful and can take you anywhere you want to go.

Much like her literary influences her musical influences were also prophets of their time, Donnie Hathaway, Nina Simon, Sarah Vaughn, Bob Marley, Phyllis Hyman, Chaka Kahn, Ronnie laws, Parliament & Funkadelic, Bootsey and Meshell N’Degeocello. 

Thursday
Jul302015

ROYAL THE ARTIST

Born native of Louisiana, Kelly C LeBlanc better known as ROYAL THE ARTIST is a new and upcoming poet just recently introduced to this world of spoken word artistry. While still fairly young to the poetry scene, her poetry can best be compared to a weapon of mass destruction. Royal's sacrifice and servitude to poetry is just as impressionable and inspiring as her 10 years spent in the military. Her poetry often stands on the head of controversy with insight, humor, pain and prophecy and with no doubt an undeniable passion. Royal's role to the community serves as not only a poet but an entrepreneur, activist, actress, and newly tasked screenwriter for Hollywood she is clearly destined to shine among rising stars!

Thursday
Jul302015

JOSHUA NGUYEN

JOSHUA NGUYEN is part of the UT Spitshine slam team in placing #1 in the nation in 2014 and winning ‘Best Writing as a Team’ in 2015. He is a student at the University of Texas and has been part of the Meta-four Houston Youth Slam Team from 2008-2012, competing in Brave New Voices. He has opened up for Talib Kweli, Rasika Mathar, and mayor Annise Parker. He is the 2015 CUPSI Haiku Champ and enjoys puns on puns on puns.