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© 2016 Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance.  Website design by Kaleigh O'Keefe.

 

MEET OUR TEACHING ARTISTS 

PORSHA OLAYIWOLA | Teaching Artist

Porsha is a poet, lover hip-hop, feminist, womanist friend, performance artist and Dean of Enrichment at Codman Academy.  A native of Chicago, Porsha moved to Boston in 2010 to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for the National Coalition for the Homeless. During her year of service, she started the Massachusetts’ Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau. Currently Porsha is nationally recognized Poetry Slam Artist and a MassLEAP spoken-word teaching artist, and she founded Codman's award-winning Slam Poetry team, including two Louder than a Bomb Championships. She recently competed in the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam and took first place and won the National Poetry Slam in 2015 with a team from the House Slam at Haley House in Dudley Square. She is also a member of Boston’s HBGC Women’s Council, helping to address issues surrounding queer women of color in the Boston area.  Porsha earned her B.A. in African American Studies & Gender & Women Studies from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

PRINCESS MOON | Teaching Artist

Princess Moon is a second generation Cambodian-American poet, teaching artist, and award-winning community organizer. Her work unearths conversations with ancestral spirits, exposes trauma left by the ghosts of violent men, and explores the hauntingly beautiful journey of finding one's self. She was the first woman SlamMaster to the Mill City Slam and formerly served as the Program Director of the non-profit youth organization FreeVerse!  She has graced the final stages of the 2011 Brave New Voices as well as the 2012 and 2013 Louder Than A Bomb Massachusetts. In 2014, she coached the winning team of the Louder Than A Bomb Massachusetts competition and received the Charmaine Santiago Galdon award for her tireless community building. Her poetry is published in Young Angel Midnight: An Anthology of Emerging Artists and grumpy shower. You can find her most recent work in her book The Genocide's Love Baby Learns to Sing (Bootstrap Press).

EMMANUEL OPPONG-YEBOAH | Teaching Artist

Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah is a Ghanaian American poet living out the diaspora in Boston (Massachusetts). He is both Black & alive. Emmanuel is the reviews editor for Winter Tangerine and an associate editor for Pizza Pi Press. He currently serves as the Walltalk Teaching Artist for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. His work has been published in The Hartford Courant, Bird's Thumb, & Narrative Northeast. Emmanuel deeply believes in Blackness as spectrum - Blackness as something transformative and subversive, even within a space of regulated nonbeing. He enjoys hot carbs, brightly colored chapbooks, and the long sigh at the end of a good book.

SAM RUSH | Teaching Artist

Sam Rush is from South Florida and began writing poems after developing progressive hearing loss and realizing how many words each word could be. Sam is a three-time competitor in the National Poetry Slam was a 2016 finalist as a member of The House Slam team. Their work has been featured work featured in in The Offing, Public Pool, Drunk in a Midnight Choir and on Button Poetry and SlamFind. Sam has spent the last decade working with youth across the U.S. and internationally. 

JONATHAN MENDOZA | Teaching Artist

Jonathan Mendoza is a Boston-based activist, spoken word artist, educator and musician.
He is a Louder Than A Bomb Massachusetts alumni and is currently a member of slam teams representing Berklee College of Music and The House Slam of the Haley House Bakery and Café in Roxbury. Jonathan was a ‘Best of the Rest’ finals stage showcase at the 2015 College Union Poetry Slam International and, as of this past August, is a National Poetry Slam Champion, making him a member of the first national team to ever officially represent Boston and thus the first Boston team to ever win the tournament. Jonathan is currently pursuing a self-designed bachelor’s degree, Arts for Social Advocacy, at Berklee College of Music, with the mission of fusing arts and education with social and political activism to support equitable change in marginalized communities. Please talk to him about social justice, art, Kendrick Lamar and yogurt, as those are all things he is very much into.

 

OOMPA | Teaching Artist

Oompa is a nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, poet, rapper, and educator,

who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids and them. Oompa

is the winner of the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam, a finalist at the 2017

National Poetry Slam, and has recently been nominated for New Artist of the Year at

the Boston Music Awards. She has been featured in Huffington Post, Allston

Pudding, Mass Apparel, and KillerBoomBox among others. Oompa’s debut album,

Nov. 3, was named one of Dig Boston’s Top 30 Local Albums of 2016, one of Allston

Pudding’s Favorite albums of 2016, and her sound has compared to that of Lauryn

Hill, J.Cole, and Talib Kweli. Oompa has performed alongside acts such as Latrell

James, STL Gold, and Tef Poe, and is currently working on her fall tour, The Black

Hole Tour. Currently based in Boston, MA, Oompa is an organizer, mentor, and

coach, as well as a member of media brand and collective Hipstory, and co-slam

master of the House Slam. 

ANTHONY FEBO | Teaching Artist

Anthony Febo is a poet, actor, youth worker, lover and friend. He founded Mill City Slam, the adult slam poetry scene, and M.O.M.S. the Middlesex/UMass Lowell college slam poetry scene in 2010. Along side his fellow partners in rhyme, in 2009 he founded FreeVerse!, a youth organization dedicated to expand the presence of spoken word in the city of Lowell. Febo has worked as a full time teaching artist at Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) in Boston’s South End. Currently he works with MassLEAP as poet in residence at Community Academy of Science & Health in Dorchester, as well as working for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston as a teaching artist & mentor. He is a lover of theatre and art, a strong believer that poetry is something we live, and a pretty good dancer.

 

ZENAIDA PETERSON I Teaching Artist

Zenaida is a fire starter, a green witch and a queer of color who likes the wind chimes outside her window and baking gluten free things for her 6 housemates. Zenaida has competed in 4 collegiate and national poetry competitions placing in the top ten each time. Most recently Zenaida competed with Haley House Poetry Slam Team that took 3rd place at the National Poetry Slam. Co-founder and lead organizer for the first slam tournament for feminine people. (FEMS). She believes they are silenced to often. She also believes everything she hears so you shouldn’t lie to her. Zenaida unwrites the lies she’s been given. Zenaida also unwrites violence, misogyny, racism and her ancestors curses. 

 

ERICH HAYGUN | Teaching Artist

Erich Haygun is a National Poetry Slam Champion representing The House Slam, the first poetry slam venue located in their hometown Boston, MA. Erich’s work has been anthologized in The Dead Animal Handbook (University of Hell Press) and honored by the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives. Haygun is proud to be Program Director of the youth publishing non-profit Books Of Hope, as well as a organizer & producer of the variety show CHEAP SEATS.