Organizing Team

Working Together as Leaders in Poetry

We meet every Monday from 5pm-6pm on Google Meet. If you are interested in attending, please contact us!

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Sarah Fathima Mohammed

Events Committee

Sarah Fathima Mohammed, daughter of Indian Muslim immigrants, is a poet from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the 2021-22 National Student Poet of the West, the nation's highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Adroit Journal, Frontier Poetry, wildness, SOFTBLOW, PANK, and diode and has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, Poetry Society of the UK, Claudia Ann Seaman Awards, and Hollins University. She was born in 2005.

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Myesha Phukan

Junior Poetry Ambassador
Events Committee

Myesha Phukan (she/her) is a student at Mountain View High School. She is an aspiring poet, and likes to base her writing off of her culture, as well as racial/social issues. Apart from writing poetry, she is a member of her school’s Model UN club, the MV Green Team, and SLAM Magazine, where she writers about social issues that are prevalent in our society. Other than writing, she loves to read and buys an unhealthy amount of books every day.

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Mahati Ramakrishnan

Junior Poetry Ambassador
Social Media/Marketing Committee

Mahati Ramakrishnan (she/her/hers) is a youth poet and a student at Lynbrook High School. She is fervent about writing prose and poetry about whatever comes to her mind, especially focusing on her Indian roots. She is an editor of Overture Literary Magazine, a club at her school, and is extremely excited and thankful to be a youth poetry ambassador for the team!

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Sophia Smith

Events Committee

Sophia Rose Smith (she/her) is People Editor for her highschool’s newspaper and the founder of Binsey Poplar Press. When she’s not writing, she practices calligraphy and drinks lots of tea. Her writing has been recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Schola Cantorum’s poetry-to-music contest, and The Daphne Review.

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Anna Yang

Events Committee

Anna Yang (she/her) is a junior at Notre Dame High School. Her work appears in DoveTales, An International Online Journal of the Arts, Young Inklings, The Stanford Daily, and more. She has been recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the New York Times, HFPA, among others. She was also awarded as a California Arts Scholar in Creative Writing. Aside from poetry, she enjoys advocating for social change, hiking by the ocean, and being the friendly neighborhood beekeeper!

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Lorenz Mazon Dumuk

Administrative Committee

When writing in the middle of the night, Lorenz Mazon Dumuk is probably petting the wall to make sure it is okay and that he is okay. Failing to be a professional meadow frolicker, hamster wrangler, or a thumb war champion,  poetry told him he might as well fail being a poet.  After getting his poetic license revoked many times, Lorenz figures he would write poetry illegally. Calls what he writes dandelions but anyone can smell what it really is

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Keana Aguila Labra

Assistant Director

Keana Aguila Labra (they/them/she/her) is a Cebuana Tagalog Filipinx poet & writer in diaspora residing on stolen Ohlone Tamyen land. She works to provide a safe literary space for underserved & underrepresented communities as the Editor-in-Chief of literary magazine, Marias at Sampaguitas and the co-Founder of the BIPOC/LGBTQIA+ focused publishing press, Sampaguita Press. Outside of MAS & SamPress, she is the Interview Lead for the Walang Hiya Project, an arts collective centering Filipinxaos of marginalized genders & LGBTQ+ folks. She is also a fellow of the Kearny Street Interdisciplinary Writer's Lab cohort of summer '21 & currently a Barangay Tanod intern with the Bayanihan Center in San Francisco. In her free time, she is a book reviewer with City Book Review. She is the author of the chapbooks, No Saints (Lazy Adventurer Publishing) & Mohilak (Fahmidan Co. & Publishing). Her third chapbook, Kanunay, is forthcoming early 2022.

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Lesa Medley

Administrative Committee

 She hosts two poetry open mics, and she is ​a Poetry Center San Jose Board Member.

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Karla Santiago-Reyes

Social Media/Marketing Committee

Karla Santiago-Reyes (they/she/elle/ella) grew up in San Jose, California and can now be found in Gilroy, CA walking and smelling the roses. Karla has found that no matter where they go, the youth will always be the truth-tellers, the ones who lead the next revolution. Amazed and inspired, they have been on the organizing committee working alongside so many amazing poets and community organizers with hopes of creating and contributing to such an amazing program that works on amplifying and emphasizing the Youth and their voices.

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Janice Lobo Sapigao

Director

Janice Lobo Sapigao (she/her) is a daughter of immigrants from the Philippines. She is the author of two books of poetry: microchips for millions (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2016), and like a solid to a shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2017 by way of Nightboat Books). She authored two published chapbooks, "toxic city" (tinder tender press, 2015), and "you don’t know what you don’t know" (Mondo Bummer Chapbooks, 2016). She was named one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Women to Watch in 2017 by KQED Arts. Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as POETRY, poets.org, Apogee Journal, Entropy, The Offing, and Waxwing Literary Journal. She is a VONA/Voices and Kundiman Poetry Fellow. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies with Honors and a minor in Urban Studies & Planning from the University of California, San Diego. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. She is a 2020-2021 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Emeritus, and was a Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets.

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Scorpiana Xlent

Administrative Committee

Scorpiana Xlent is a Bronx raised poet, spoken word artist, and armchair activist who now makes San Jose her home . A member of The San Jose Poetry Slam’s 2014 slam team competing in The National Poetry Slam, she has also featured at numerous venues in New York, Florida, and California. Scorpiana’s poems have been published in two anthologies: “Fruition” and “The Bandana Republic”. She also has her own book “Inked”. In addition to writing and performing she has taught youth poetry workshops in San Jose. Scorpiana X is currently the Slam Master for The San Jose Poetry Slam.