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Kicked off as a two week series, Tonya and 12 artists collaborated to share their work, hearts, and passions, while inspiring listeners with steps to get involved and Support Black Poetry.

We want to amplify the Support Black Poetry Campaign in every way we can. If you are an artist, poet, or creative who wants to get involved and amplify their voice. Drop your details below and we'll reach out to work together. 

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Poetic Moment 

AUTHOR | POET | PROFESSOR 
PoeticMoment started performing Spoken Word at the young age of 14. She discovered her gift of writing in a rhythmic pattern matched with the ability to instantly recall written word and put them to use on the stage. Her poems are often viewed as raw and uncut approaches to topics many overlook. She has been cited as saying that every story told is hers and comes from a place of vulnerability that is only experienced through performance. She has headlined many events including UNPLUGDLA, On The List, Fly Poet, and Hope is the Chorus. She has also toured throughout college campuses including Cal State Fullerton, Pomona College, University of California Riverside, and University of California Los Angeles. In the past, she sponsored a Poetry Production called The Underground which included artists from all over the Southern California area and received much acclaim. She has used her talents both through poetry as well as through acting by leading theater productions like Blackballin' and Bearing Our Soles. She can be seen regularly, once a month at Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, California. She was the GRAND SLAM 2017 Champion of Los Angeles, California. At the 2017 National Poetry Slam she was apart of Da Poetry Lounge's Slam Team and the team went on to place 4th in the world.

She was July 2018’s & February 2020’s, Head to Head Slam Champion in Los Angeles and she and her team placed 3rd in the U.S. at 2018’s SouthernFried Poetry Slam. More recently she has worked with BESE for the “State of Mind” series, partnered with Healthy Housing Foundation & Aids Healthcare and won their Charity Slam. Curated the Unity Poetry Night shows as well as placed 3rd in The 2019 Long Beach Poetry Slam.

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Edwin Bodney

POET | AUTHOR | EDUCATOR
Edwin Bodney is a Los Angeles-based poet and co-host of one of the largest poetry venues in the nation, Da Poetry Lounge. In 2016, he officially published his first book titled, A Study of Hands, with Not a Cult Press. Brian McGackin, Expo Poetry Editor, quickly jumped onboard the opportunity to talk to Bodney more about his passion for poetry and what it means to write with a community that offers so much support.

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Carvens Lissaint 

POET | ACTOR | SINGER
Carvens Lissaint is a Haitian American International award-winning poet, actor, and singer. He currently stars in the Tony Award winning musical HAMILTON as George Washington at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, CA. Carvens was selected as an honoree by Blavity & Shadow And Act at the first annual Shadow And Act RISING Star Awards, highlighting the top black actors/actress, creatives & executives in the industry. He has graced stages across the United States, United Kingdom and The Caribbean.

Featured on TED Youth, Sundance Film Festival, The United States Green Build Council in Arizona, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on Broadway at The New Amsterdam Theater & the Off-Broadway Hip-Hop Theater Festival, debuting his one man show “Walk” at the Ohio Theater. He was on the second, third, & fifth seasons of the hit television series “Verses and Flow” on TV One and has opened for the likes of John Leguzizamo, Common, Luke James and Jill Scott. A graduate of The American Academy for Dramatic Arts and St. John’s University with degrees in Acting/Dramatic Arts for Film & Television and holds an MFA from NYU Tisch School of The Arts Graduate Acting Program. He gives all glory and honor to Jesus.

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Ashley August 

ACRTESS | AUTHOR | PLAYWRIGHT | ACTIVIST
Ashley August is an afro-latina, actress, author, playwright, activist, teaching artist, touring spoken word artist, 3rd ranked woman poet in the world, hip-hop junkie, ASTEP at Juilliard fellow, NYC's 2013 Youth Poet Laureate and recently named one of The New York Times 30 Under 30 Most Influential people.

Along with multiple television/film appearances and country wide theatrical and poetic performances, her credits include SundanceTV, Cannes Film Festival, Netflix, Aljazaera America, The GAP, BET, and TVOne. August is the author of two self-exploratory books, “Love Handles” and “Licorice” published by evoL(NYC) and Penmanship Books, respectively. She is the former Curator and Slam Master of the Legendary Bowery Poetry Club. With Belize and Brooklyn embedded into her (he)art, August is motivated to speak the unsaid truth and push the boundaries of spoken word and performance to realms they've yet to live in.

She can be seen in highly acclaimed Netflix and HBO series this year!

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Alyesha Wise-Hernandez

AUTHOR | POET | TEACHER
The author of Carnival (NOT A CULT media), Alyesha Wise is a poet, teaching artist & TEDx speaker from Camden, N.J. Alyesha currently resides in Los Angeles where she is the co-founder of Spoken Literature Art Movement - an organization providing poetry education and extensive programming for poets, and a teaching artist for Street Poets - a non-profit mostly serving juvenile injustice-involved youth. Alyesha served as the Da Poetry Lounge slam team head coach from 2017-18, co-coaching both teams to final stage at The National Poetry Slam. She also served as the Get Lit-Words Ignite youth slam team co-coach from 2014-2017. Wise is a 2-time Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist and has been featured on different platforms and publications such as OWN, Huffington Post, Bustle, Afropunk, PBS, POPSUGAR, Buzzfeed, Free Speech TV and more. She has collaborated with The Nantucket Project, the ACLU of Southern California, Brave New Films and additional major platforms, having featured in the Google Interstellar Project, in conjunction with the hit film Interstellar. Ron Howard once wrote about Alyesha's work, "Very Powerful.






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Safia Elhillo 

POET | AUTHOR | ACTIVIST
Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award, Girls That Never Die (One World/Random House 2021), and the novel in verse Home Is Not A Country (Make Me A World/Random House, 2021).

Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, she holds an MFA from The New School, a Cave Canem Fellowship, and a 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee (receiving a special mention for the 2016 Pushcart Prize), co-winner of the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30.”

Safia’s work appears in POETRY Magazine, Callaloo, and The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day series, among others, and in anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and The Penguin Book of Migration Literature. Her work has been translated into several languages, and commissioned by Under Armour, Cuyana, and the Bavarian State Ballet. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019). She is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and lives in Oakland. 

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Jasmine Williams

ACTRESS | POET | CREATOR
Jasmine Williams is a creator born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dramatic Arts from San Francisco State University. She holds 12 years of organizing artistic residencies that provide poetic theatre education to imprisoned and at-risk young adults, with non-profit organizations such as Youth Speaks (SF), Say Word LA, B.R.I.D.G.E. Theatre Project, and most recently ArtworxLA.

With skills as both a playwright and poet, her work primarily focuses on the Black Experience, women, and triumph; Using stylized language to captivate and enhance storytelling. Her work has been featured on Verses and Flow (TV One), Politicon, All Def Poetry, Brave New Voices (HBO), Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angeles, and the Pan African Film Festival just to name a few. She is currently the host of "Da Poetry Lounge", one of the largest spoken word and open mic venues in the country. Jasmine creates art to inspire and amplify the voices of those brave enough to be heard. Using her voice within the creative sphere to rise above the chafe of mainstream media and stereotypes, she aims to create responsible art where the communities she represents and want to see represented can reflect, exhale, be still, loud, and free. Jasmine creates for the culture and future. On her time off, she is an UNO champion and a VIP member of #TeamEdward, before falling asleep to episodes of Hey Arnold or The Office.


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Aziza Barnes

POET | AUTHOR | PLAYWRIGHT
Aziza Barnes is the winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize; their first full length collection, i be but i ain’t, is from YesYes Books, 2016. Their first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima & the nailgun, was the inaugural winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize from Button Poetry. They are a Cave Canem Fellow, co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festivaland co-host of the podcast, The Poetry Gods.

Aziza is a graduate of New York University, member of The Dance Cartel and participant in the 2016 Ojai Playwrights Conference. To be produced by Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Barnes’s playwriting debut, BLKS, "marks the arrival of a truly original contemporary American voice."

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Shihan Van Clief

POET
Along with being the 1st and only poet to have a poem named 'download of the week' on iTunes; this National Poetry Slam Champion and 4X National Poetry Slam Finalist has been featured on a variety of media outlets including 7 appearances on 6 seasons of HBO's Def Poetry, NBC, Oxygen Network, Current TV, Nike Battlegrounds, Reebok, Adidas, NBA, CNN, ESPN, Complex and Billboard Magazine, several national commercial spots, 5 National Tours including the Tony Award Winning Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry Jam International Tour and 2 Spoken Word documentaries, SP!T and the sequel to 1997's cult doc Slam Nation, Slam Planet. Shihan was also the 1st 'Poet' to sign an exclusive Sponsorship deal with Sports Giant, adidas and he is the current voice for The Sprite Street Mix, a radio program broadcasted in over 14 countries in Africa. His abilities to transcend cultural and generational boundaries have made Shihan a much sought after talent.












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Ngozi Kemjika 

POET | WRITER | SPEAKER | LIFE COACH
Ngozi Kemjika is a Nigerian, British-born Writer, Poet, Speaker and Life Coach. She helps millennial women understand self-love, healing and transformation, so they can redefine their relationship with themselves and others, and rediscover the potent power that lives within them.
She is also the author of ‘Before the Butterfly Wakes’, a collection of poetry and prose focused on self-love, self-confidence and healing.
She has been a writer since childhood and cites that it was her mother’s influence as a Librarian that instilled in her a love of words.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Laws, and spending almost a decade in and out of modelling, Ngozi decided that it was time to share her story and encourage others who needed to hear it along the way.

‘Before the Butterfly Wakes’ gives context to her own personal narrative: including growing up in England as a black girl, bullying, racism, her experiences as a fashion model, her battles with mental health and self-esteem, as well as love and her evolution into self-awareness and healing.
Her book and transformational life lessons, have been the catalyst to her artistic expression. She can often be found sharing these lessons and teaching others about the importance of self-love, growth and purpose.
Ngozi’s work has been praised and amplified by platforms such as Well+Good, Black Lives Matter, Soho House and (the Richard Branson endorsed) Saira Hospitality. She currently resides in New York.

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Shihan Van Clief

POET
Along with being the 1st and only poet to have a poem named 'download of the week' on iTunes; this National Poetry Slam Champion and 4X National Poetry Slam Finalist has been featured on a variety of media outlets including 7 appearances on 6 seasons of HBO's Def Poetry, NBC, Oxygen Network, Current TV, Nike Battlegrounds, Reebok, Adidas, NBA, CNN, ESPN, Complex and Billboard Magazine, several national commercial spots, 5 National Tours including the Tony Award Winning Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry Jam International Tour and 2 Spoken Word documentaries, SP!T and the sequel to 1997's cult doc Slam Nation, Slam Planet. Shihan was also the 1st 'Poet' to sign an exclusive Sponsorship deal with Sports Giant, adidas and he is the current voice for The Sprite Street Mix, a radio program broadcasted in over 14 countries in Africa. His abilities to transcend cultural and generational boundaries have made Shihan a much sought after talent.












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Yaw Kyeremateng

POET | PROFESSOR | ACTOR | COACH
Yaw is a Ghanaian artist residing in Los Angeles. Yaw is a writer, educator, and author of the poetry collection: Unveiling the Trauma. He is an activist and advocate who connects to his audience through poetic story-telling on topics related to identity, family and immigration. Yaw is the 2011 National Collegiate Speech and Debate Runner-Up in Poetry Interpretation, 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, 2018 Exit 36 Poetry Festival Champion and a 2018 National Poetry Slam Runner-Up.

Yaw is currently a Professor and Director of Speech and Debate at Concordia University Irvine but additionally finds joy in being a professional laugher and a rooted dancer with specialty in Afrobeats and West African tribal dance. On stage,Yaw becomes his stories, channels every word through time and space to give the audience a cathartic experience.



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