Executive Council

The Executive Council

The Executive Council is a seven-member body that serves as Poetry Slam, Inc.’s volunteer board of directors. They are elected for two-year terms by Slammasters, the organizers of local certified poetry slams. Their primary function is to manage the business affairs of the organization.

Ashlee Haze, Treasurer

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.

Janae Johnson, Secretary

Janae Johnson is a black queer poet, community organizer, teaching artist, and full-time educator. Hailing from California, she is the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Champion as well as a 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion. She is also the Co-Founder & Co-Director of both: The Root Slam poetry venue in Oakland, California, and The House Slam poetry venue in Boston, MA.

Janae’s poetry has appeared in outlets such as ESPN, PBS Newshour, Blavity, and Kinfolks: A Journal of Black Expression. Her work aims to address the intricacies of black masculinity while balancing her love for her family, Motown music, and women’s basketball . Janae holds a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, and facilitates writing and performance workshops for all ages. She currently resides in Berkeley, CA.

Christopher Michael, 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.


Deonte Osayande

Deonte Osayande is a former track and field sprinter turned writer from Detroit, Mi. He writes nonfiction essays and his poems have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, a Pushcart Prize and published in numerous publications. He has represented Detroit at multiple National Poetry Slam competitions. He’s currently a professor of English at Wayne County Community College, and teaching youth through the Inside Out Detroit Literary Arts Program. His first full collection of poems entitled Class, is now out with Urban Farmhouse Press.

Jesse Parent, Vice President

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

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.

Cecily Schuler

Cecily Schuler is a genderqueer writer, performer and teaching artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. They repped Seattle Poetry Slam in 2014, coached Union Square Slam’s inaugural team in 2016, and are the 2016 Vox Pop Individual Slam Champion. Their work is featured in the Offing, great weather for MEDIA, Duende and elsewhere. They founded and currently run Union Square Slam, happening every Tuesday in the heart of New York City. Since receiving an MFA in Writing of the Pratt Institute, they’ve been working on a full-length experimental poetic memoir. Cecily is a quintuple Leo, a closet punk-ska rocker, and habitually relocates every time a sportball team in their current city breaks a longstanding curse to win some big deal trophy.