Executive Council

Inkera Oshun, President

Inkera Oshun is a lover of poetry and people. Her greatest pleasure is found in helping others. She has severe stage fright but lives out her passion for performance poetry through SlamCharlotte, Poetry Slam, Inc. and her poetry family all over the world.

Inkera is an event organizer, nurturer by nature, and closet writer. She journals daily and aspires to write a book of “expressions of life” designed to heal broken spirits. Inkera has volunteered with numerous organizations and served on several non-profit boards. Poetry Slam Inc. is her favorite non-profit organization to donate her time and talents to.

Christopher Michael, Vice President

Christopher Michael has been a regular in The Texas Slam scene since 1999 and the National Slam since 2004. He is the co-founder of Killeen Poetry Slam, and a regular host at Austin Poetry Slam. Among his accomplishments are 2005-2006 Austin Slam Champ, 2008 Killeen Slam Champ, 2010 ArkansasGrand Slam Winner. He has been a member and coach of 9 National Slam Teams and coached 4 Youth Poetry Slam Teams. Former Executive Director and Slam Master of They Speak Youth Slam in Austin Tx., and is now the SlamMaster of Austin NeoSoul.

 

Karen Garrabrant, Secretary

Karen Garrabrant (aka Karen G.) is a decade-plus slam manager, poet, fanatic, host, and organizer in the Atlanta area. She curated events twice for The Atlanta Queer Literary Festival, Ladyfest South and Estrofest’s  Seen + Heard Festival and served on the board of directors for the first Rock Camp For Girls’ (ATL). She is a performer, host, organizer and coach for Art Amok! and partners with the nation’s oldest feminist bookstore, Charis Books & More in running Cliterati. She’s coached ten teams to compete at the annual National Poetry Slam. She’s been an Assistant Tournament Director, volunteer and emcee for the Individual World Poetry Slam and the Tournament Director and competing poet in the Women of the World Poetry Slam. By day she works behind the book spines at Emory University’s General Library.

John Quiñonez

Based out of Flagstaff, Arizona John Quiñonez is a Full time Events Coordinator, Special Ed Teacher, Server, and Respite Care Provider by Trade. By Night he is the longtime Flagstaff Slammaster, Northern Arizona Book Festival Board Member, iWPS 2016 Host City Events Coordinator, Founder of the Flagstaff SO LIT Festival, Founder/Booking Manager for StellarJay Productions, Curator for SSOO Experimental Arts Festival, Musician, and Visual Artist. By accident he is sometimes a Poet. By unofficial contract he is a Lifetime Poetry Slam Nationals Volunteer and Morale Rouser. On Wednesdays he wears Pink. On Weekends he sleeps. Sometimes. Buy him a drink. Anytime.

Don McIver, Trustee

Basic Human Needs Award winning poet, Don McIver is a six time member of the ABQ slam team, an award winning host/producer of KUNM’s Spoken Word Hour, the author of The Blank Page, The Noisy Pen, and editor of A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene. He’s performed all over the United States and has participated in 2011 and 2012 Solofest, the 2012 and 2015 TEDxABQ and numerous poetry events.  He’s produced, curated, and hosted poetry events big and small including the Bravos Award Winning 2005 National Poetry Slam, and been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including Harwood Anthology, Shine On You Crazy Diamond: Poems by Teens and their Mentors, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Anthology, Poems from the Big Muddy: NPS 2004, Looking Back to Place, and How to….Multiple Perspectives on Creating a Garden, a Life, Relationships and Community and Fixed and Free Poetry Anthology.  He’s a board member for New Mexico Literary Arts (NMLA), WestEnd Press, and an organizing committee member for the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program.  He curated poets for numerous shows including the weekly Sunday-Chatter in partnership with Ensemble-New Mexico.  In his vocation, he manages the tutoring center for Central New Mexico Community College.

Jesse Parent

Jesse Parent placed 2nd at both the 2010 and 2011 Individual World Poetry Slams, was a finalist at the 2012 Ontario International Poetry Slam and 2014 Ill List Invitational Poetry Slam, and was part of the 8th place Salt City Slam teams at the 2011 and 2012 National Poetry Slams. He has been on the 2007-2014 Salt City Slam teams, has served as SlamMaster and coach for Salt City Slam, and has served on the executive council for Poetry Slam, Inc. His poetry has been featured on the Huffington Post, UpWorthy, TheBlaze.com, and WorldStarHipHop.com. In his personal life, he has a very tolerant wife and three adorable kids. You can find out more about Jesse at www.JesseParent.com

Ashlee Haze

Ashlee Haze is a poet and spoken word artist from Atlanta by way of Chicago. She has been performing on the Atlanta Poetry circuit since the age of 14 and has been writing over 15 years.She is a 4-time member of Java Monkey Slam Team, 2011 Southern Fried Poetry Slam Champions. Ashlee Haze is a 2-time Women of the World Poetry Slam Finalist. She has been a member of PSI since 2010.