Suzi Q. Smith is a poet, mother, and activist from Denver, Colorado. She has served as the organization’s Executive Director since August 2014. Prior to serving as the Executive Director, she served for two years as the Vice President of the Executive Council. She has been an active member of Poetry Slam, Inc. since 2006, volunteering as a local slam organizer, as a competing poet, and as the Chair of the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Suzi has a B.A. in English Writing and has worked with non-profit organizations in and around Denver for fifteen years. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of Poetry Slam Inc., Suzi Q. is a teaching artist in Denver and she performs her poetry throughout the United States.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Lzicar
Emily Rose Kahn-Sheahan has served as PSi’s Venue and Membership Coordinator since 2012. In addition to her work with PSi, Emily lives in Chicago where she has hosted and curated shows for ten years, including operating as the SlamMaster for Mental Graffiti and host/curator for Real Talk Live. She competed with 5 Chicago teams at the National Poetry Slam as a poet and coach as well as placing 14th at the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam. Founding board member for Chicago Slam Works, former Chair of Poetry for the Bucktown Arts Festival; she currently contracts with Poetry Slam, Inc. to make every spreadsheet run smoothly. Her work has recently appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Muzzle Magazine, decomP, After Hours, and TimeOut Chicago. Her first chapbook, Cigarette Love Songs and Nicotine Kisses, was published by Cross+Roads Press. Her upcoming chapbook, Mouthy, will be released on Thoughtcrime Press.
Geoff Jarok came to PSi in 2012 bringing with him years of experience with businesses of all sizes and shapes including a number of non-profits. He handles all of the financial record keeping and tax filings to allow the creators to create and the doers to do. In trade, Geoff’s role with PSi has allowed him to continue to hone his Certified Professional Accountant (CPA), MBA, and Professional Manager of Projects (PMP) licenses into more than sharp letters. He’s had a lot of fun interacting and supporting the Slam Family even if sometimes it seems an Accounting to English Dictionary may have been more lucrative than any of his publishing credits.
Maureen Benson is an educator, activist and community organizer from Oakland, CA who loves supporting organizations and events from behind the scenes. As a former high school principal turned consultant, Maureen finds her hands in many incredible projects that support the arts, social justice and transformation in the world. Having thrown national events for various clients since 2010, she loves engaging community in building a conference that offers learning, love and growth. Maureen is incredibly excited to support PSi in taking the National Poetry Slam to the next level after its 25th anniversary and beyond!
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.
Mahogany L. Browne is the author of books including Swag & Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line, recommended by Small Press Distribution & listed as About.com Best Poetry Books of 2010. She has released five LPs and toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia. Her journalism work has been published in magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada’s The Word and UK’s MOBO. She is an Urban Word NYC mentor, as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices, facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. She is the publisher of Penmanship Books, Director of Poetry & Friday Night curator of the famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe.