The Annual Youth Poetry Slam will also be a virtual event this year, and will take place on April 29th at 6 p.m. The slam will serve as a culmination of both the Aspen Words Poetry Project and National Poetry Month.
Please save the date for this event and show up to support our youth—we’ll want to see your words of encouragement in the chat and your virtual snaps as we raise up these brave poets.
Registration link coming soon!
Student participants will be selected via a lottery, all interested middle and high school poets will be able to sign up at aspenwords.org. More details coming soon!
2021 POETRY PROJECT TEACHING ARTISTS
Cynthia Amoah is a spoken word artist, educator, and mentor originally from Ghana. Her literary pieces often highlight the forgotten stories of the world, while transcending the oftentimes marginalized groups she delineates in her work. Her writing and performances also concern the foraging questions that have to do with identity and belonging, with displacement, migration and uprootedness.
Cynthia completed her MFA at The New School and has been featured on the stages of TEDxDrewUniversity, TEDxOhioStateUniversity, and the United Nations Information Center in Accra, among many others. In 2016, she served as a writer for Maroon Arts Group’s writer’s residency, where she joined 7 other writers in the creation of a social-justice centered choreopoem that came to life on the stage in June 2018. In December of the same year, Cynthia also debuted an all-woman poetry showcase, “Women & Words,” featuring Ghanaian writers, poets, and artists in Accra, Ghana. Cynthia has received honorable mention for the Paul Violi Poetry Prize in 2018 and was cited for Excellence in Poetry by The New School in 2019. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in OURS Magazine, Nimrod Journal, and Crab Orchard Review. Cynthia currently resides in Columbus, OH with her family where she facilitates workshops in poetry, positive-thinking, confidence-building, and the power of using our voice.
Natasha “natty” Carrizosa is a poet, writer, emcee, educator, and speaker. Her work is deeply rooted in her childhood and life experiences. Raised as the daughter of a fierce African-American mother and Mexican father, her writing reflects the dichotomy of these two rich cultures. She is author of mexiafricana, heavy light, and crown. Her work has been published in ¡Manteca! – an anthology of Afro-Latino poets, CONTRA: Texas Poets Speak Out, raising mothers, and R2: The Rice Review (Rice University.) She has performed her work and conducted workshops for audiences in Madrid, Paris, Saint Lucia, New York, Houston, New Mexico, and countless other cities. She has collaborated with Aspen Challenge, Aspen Youth Leadership Forum, Bezos Scholars, UNCF, Write About Now, Public Poetry, Tintero Projects, WITS (Writers in the Schools) and Poets & Writers.
An award-winning teacher, Joaquín Zihuatanejo received his MFA in creative writing with a concentration in Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work has been featured in Prairie Schooner, Sonora Review, and Huizache among other journals and anthologies. His poetry has been featured on HBO, NBC, and on NPR in Historias and The National Teachers’ Initiative. He was the winner of the Anhinga-Robert Dana Prize for Poetry. His book, Arsonist, was published by Anhinga Press in 2018 and was short-listed as a Finalist for both the Writers’ League of Texas Best Book Poetry Prize and the International Latino Book Award Best Book Poetry Prize. Joaquín’s new book, Dollars for Scholars, which moved Joaquín from the world of poetry to the world of nonfiction for the first time, seeks to provide insight and inspiration to underserved students, giving them a wealth of information on the scholarship process and advice that can help them with their transition from high school senior to college freshman. Joaquín has offered readings of his work or facilitated creative writing workshops in 49 of the 50 states and 16 different countries. Joaquín is currently working on two poetry manuscripts and a quasi-autobiographical novel for young adults about a homeless teenager who finds refuge in a world of poems. Joaquín has two passions in his life, his partner Aída and poetry, always in that order.