“A POET should be so crafty with WORDS that he is envied even for his pains.” — Criss Jami

Salar De Uyuni | southwest Bolivia

Salar De Uyuni | southwest Bolivia

Photos connect to (available) Poet’s personal pages



John G. Rives is an American performance poet, storyteller, and author. John honored us again by judging our first Teen Expo and we were thrilled to have Rives as MC for our 2014 kick off launch party, “Cloud Formation in the Tropics.” Continued


Dakota R. Garilli is a queer poet and essayist originally from the great state of New Jersey. Continued


Alyssa Long is a 19 year old graduating senior from Ohio Wesleyan University (and one of 3 Teen Judges we chose for the Teen Media Expo). She is currently pursuing a joint MFA/Ph.d. in Poetry and English Literature.



Shikha (Saklani) Malaviya is a poet & writer, born in the U.K. and raised in Minnesota and India. Her book, Geography of Tongues, was launched in December 2013, in India, and featured in The Times of India Literary Carnival, Lit.mus & other festivals. Shikha is co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a literary press.



Jane Varley is the Chair of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. She teaches writing and literature, and writes and publishes poetry and nonfiction.



Connect with Tonya Ingram on Twitter — @TonyaSIngram

“Where The Wild Things Are … Lover of God and People. Performer. Writer. Accidental Hipster. NYU Alumna. Otis Grad Student. Cincinnati Native. Bronx-bred Introvert. LA Odd Soul.”





My name is Don and I am a poetryholic. I find myself spending several hours a day either reading or writing poetry. I cannot stop. Please feed my addiction by sending poems to this website so I can judge them. Thank you. Your efforts will no doubt satisfy this poetry junkie.

(Confession cont.)


Don Kingfisher Campbell has just earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. His poems have recently appeared in About Place, ..and it happened under cover, A Poet Is A Poet No Matter How Tall, Bicycle Review, Crack The Spine, L.A. Poetry Examiner, Literary Burlesque, Lummox, Men In The Company Of Women, New Verse News, Poetic Breakfast, Poetic Diversity, Poetry & Cookies, Poetry Super Highway, Revolutionary Poets Brigade, Sassafras, Spilt Ink, Statement, Subtopian, Sun Runner, Tower Journal, The Write Room, Writers At Work, and Zouch. He is also the editor of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly and host of Saturday Afternoon Poetry at the Santa Catalina Branch of the Pasadena Public Library.


Harry Grammer is a poet/musician, mountain climber and founder of New Earth, an innovation arts and leadership program for youth.


As the Founder and Director of New Earth Programs, Harry brings leadership and vision, along with an extensive background in teaching poetry and self-expression to incarcerated and at-risk youth. For ten years, Harry has been the head instructor for all New Earth programming – offered to over 2,500 incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth per year in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to developing and teaching core curriculum, and designing new programs, Harry also trains and manages New Earth teaching staff. He has a stellar track record-with an 83% success rate in keeping the kids he works with out of the juvenile probation system once they are released. Harry was the winner of Los Angeles Social Venture Partner’s 2013 Fast Pitch Competition as well as the recipient of the 2012 Josephine “Scout” Fuller Award from Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR).

Harry is currently a Ph.D. student at Pacifica Graduate Institute studying Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Eco-Psychology.


A personal note from Mario:

I love to read poems by aspiring writers—to witness their commitment to poetry, their belief that it can express their artistic self, their social-conscious, political ideas, and existential expression of life’s struggles and joys.

(Personal note cont.)


Mario René Padilla is a writer of prose, poetry and songs. His poetry and fiction have appeared in North American Review, The Antioch Review, New Letters, Alligator Juniper, The Ledge, INKWELL Magazine, Americas Review, Atlanta Review, Visions International. His first collection of poetry, Reaching Back for the Neverendings, appeared in 1994. He wrote the music and lyrics for Hercules on Normandie in 2006 at the Greenway Court Theater. His unpublished manuscript of poetry, Postcards on the Invented Road, has been a recent finalist in book awards: Red Hen Press, Crab Orchard Review and Silverfish Review’s Gerald Cable Book Award. He earned his M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from U.S.C. He teaches Creative Writing and English literature at Santa Monica College in California.


ZO’s 2014 Event Kick-off happened at The Tropics in Hollywood, CA … We were honored to host some of the Planet’s most intriguing poets and hope to include them in our worldwide “Spoken World” Event.

John G. Rives

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John G. Rives is an American performance poet, storyteller, and author. He has appeared on multiple seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and was a member of the Def Poetry international tour group. He has made multiple appearances at the TED Conference and has published several pop-up books for children.

He co-hosted the television special Ironic Iconic America with Tommy Hilfiger, discussing how pop culture has influenced American tastes and styles. Some of his most best-known performances on Def Poetry Jam include a story about poetry in the deaf community, a description of his post-coital bliss and the performance “Dirty Talk” about what people say during sex.

Rives is a regular at the annual TED Conference, and is co-host of the TEDActive conference, which brings together people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design, where he earns standing ovations.

He’s appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on the last four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.

He was the 2004 National Poetry Slam runner up, winning 7th place, his greatest success.

Shihan The Poet

“A word merchant whose currency is honesty” Los Angeles Times. 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 3 X National Poetry Slam Finalist has been featured on a variety of media outlets including 7 appearances on 6 seasons of HBO’s Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry, NBC, Oxygen Network, Current TV, ESPN, Nike Battlegrounds, Reebok, Adidas, NBA, CNN, Artisan Films Belly DVD, 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 1997s cult doc Slam Nation, Slam Planet. Shihan recently signed an exclusive Sponsorship deal with Sports Giant, adidas and is the current voice for The Sprite Street Mix, a radio program broadcasted in over 13 countries in Africa. His abilities to transcend cultural and generational boundaries have made Shihan a much sought after talent. I Am A Poet.

Thea Monyee

Thea Monyee´ is an accomplished spoken word artist, speaker, and writer with credits that include appearances on HBO, BET, and TV One, performances at the legendary Ford Amphitheater and House of Blues in Los Angeles, countless college tours, and commissions to write poetry for the NAACP and other national organizations. In addition to blazing stages from theaters to film and television, Monyee´ also facilitates workshops and provides individual and family therapy in the Los Angeles area as a marriage and family therapist. Currently, Thea is a contributor to SayWordLA.org and a board member of Manhood Camp for At-Risk males. She is the author of Murnurs of a MadWoman: An Unconventional Memior, and executive director of the spoken word stage play, Mrs. & the Mistress.

Matthew Cuban

Matthew Cuban is a writer and presently — Arts Program Educator and FLOW Instructor at New Earth, Manager of Arts Education at Get Lit – Words Ignite and Coach and Facilitator at Leeds Young Authors

Glowing Circle 2x