These first-round readers will ensure that youth applications are complete, strong, and ready to be discussed by the Judges. They are active and working editors, writers, and poets.
Ellie Lopez (she/her) is a Latinx storyteller from the 209. Her work has recently been featured in Anthologies & Allegories, Resurrection Mag, Marias at Sampaguitas, Moonchild Mag’s Moonlogs and Hombre Lobo. When she’s not ear hustling for the best chismes, she is working on her poetry collection. You can follow her work on linktr.ee/ellielopez and her shenanigans on Instagram & Twitter : @missellielopez
Raisa Haque graduated from University of the Pacific where she studied Business Marketing and minored in English. Her interest in poetry sparked in college where she first felt comfortable sharing her art and spoken word through open mic sessions on campus. Raisa's first publication was in Calliope Literary Arts Magazine highlighting two poems centered around lessons in friendship and family. She currently works in finance and recently became a life coach through Dharma Coaching Institute where she helps women align with their truth and discover their soul’s purpose. In her free time she enjoys running, reading, writing, and playing basketball.
Maria Bolaños (she/her/they) is a Filipina-American poet, co-Editor in Chief for Marías at Sampaguitas magazine, and Co-Founder of Sampaguita Press. She is committed to building spaces to showcase Filipinx/a/o literature, as well as Black, Indigenous, and POC literature. Maria studied English, Media Studies, and Creative Writing at UC Berkeley. She reviews books for the pan-Asian Pacific American publication, International Examiner; and her poems are featured or forthcoming in US publications Touchstone, Cut Fruit Collective, Sage Cigarettes, and international publications Antigone and Yuzu Press, among others. Her first poetry chapbook, SANA, is set to release in Spring 2022. Instagram: @mariabeewrites.